Mr. Daniel Owiredu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GCB Bank, has strongly defended the processes and procedures used by the bank to grant loan facilities to its customers and the general public.
According to him, there were enough checks and balances to ensure that, no individual staff or board member manipulates the system.
“The procedures we have in place at GCB have solid risk management procedures. The solid legal due diligence that this board has put in place and the credit processes is a whole chain so the large-credit sub-committee is not even inserted in that chain until the very last end, and we don’t determine which credit should come to the large-credit committee. It is the ones that are recommended by the Executive Credit Committee, that we work on,” he stated.
Mr. Owiredu was reacting to recent concerns raised in the media that, under his leadership as Board Chairman, and also as Chairman of the Large-Credit Sub-Committee of the Board, his tenure has approved some loans that had been given but supported with very poor and questionable collaterals.
But speaking in an interview last Thursday, Mr. Owiredu said, “None of the loans during my tenure has come to me as non-performing. I can confidently say that, they are all performing, and importantly, the Non-Performing Loan (NPL) of GCB is on the trends of going down, which is positive. Our half year result of 2016 that was recently released shows that, GCB is a solid bank. In all the indices, it showed that, we are either number one or number two, and all the indices are up and we are doing well. From last year, there was an improvement this year and there is a big improvement, and GCB has been on a positive trend over the last two years. Our practices are international standards and we don’t compromise.”
He, therefore, dismissed all the allegations levelled against him, describing them as “false and without any merit.”
According to him, “GCB Bank is a public listed company and all the documents are available for anybody’s scrutiny. Let me also explain that, in giving credit, collateral is not the only condition by which credits are given. It is not the only basis.
One of the primary reasons is cash-flow, if the project or company’s cash-flow is determined to be sufficient to be able to pay for the loan that is being obtained that is one of the primary things. There are situations people have even given collaterals and the loan goes bad and they can’t even sell the collateral or redeem their money and so the key thing is to ensure that, it is a good business and has good cash-flow to pay off the debt. There are other loans you give, like giving a loan for someone to purchase machinery; you don’t take collateral to give that loan, because the machine that has been purchased becomes collateral.”
The GCB Board is a governing one with the responsibility of assisting the management to set out strategic directions for the company. It is also to ensure that, adequate procedures are in place to move the company as well as take measures to ensure there are steps in place to insulate the Bank against any risk.“