Directors’ exclusion from Parliament’s bank probe questioned

Parliament’s decision to spare directors of seven collapsed banks from its probe has been criticised as likely to produce shoddy work.
The critics wondered how the august house can come out with full and complete findings if they are not going to speak to the real actors.

Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament tasked to hold hearings into the bank crisis has maintained that he does not find any basis to invite the directors adding “on what basis, on media accounts or what?”

“The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has been invited for closing down the banks, officials of the Ministry of Finance are also to appear for creating the Consolidated Bank that has taken over the five collapsed banks, auditing firms KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers also invited after their work in investigating the affected banks.
“All those institutions will be queried to get firsthand information but no director will appear,” Dr Assibey-Yeboah insisted.

But Kofi Abotsi, Law lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) bemoaned the position of Parliament describing its action as “quite difficult to understand”.

He pointed out that “Parliament will lose another golden opportunity to improve its already low public support and will confirm once again that it is only in theory the very powerful arm of government.

“Public confidence in the financial sector has been lowered following the crisis and Ghanaians are looking for an institution that can help dispel suspicions and allegations flying around the affected banks and its officials.

“Parliament is one such institution of the people that can do this work effectively and efficiently, there is very little justification to exclude directors and is a master of its internal processes but their position of the bank crisis is not likely to generate support.

“Why the decision to make the probe in-camera since a private hearing is understandable on matters like national security and the bank crisis is not one of them,” Mr Abotsi quizzed.

Some critics have ridiculed the plan to hold in-camera hearing and the exclusion of the directors. –

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