Banking sector clean-up: GH¢1.09 bn ‘bad’ transactions by MFIs, SDIs uncovered – BoG

An amount of GH¢1.09 billion involved in related party transactions by the defunct Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) has been uncovered, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has said.

It said the amount were uncovered by the Joint Receivers for the defunct Micro Finance Companies and Specialised Deposit-Taking institutions.

The BoG said untraceable investments amounting to GH¢116.7 million had been uncovered by the Joint Receivers and asked for EOCO’s assistance to trace those investments.

The BoG in a document it issued in Accra yesterday titled collaboration with EOCO in the resolution of Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions and sighted by the Ghanaian Times, indicated that it had requested for assistance from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for further investigations to aid recovery.

The Bank of Ghana in 2019 revoked the licence of some 347 Microfinance Companies and 23 Savings and Loans and Finance House Companies following the revocation of their licence and put them in receivership.

It said dockets had been prepared on 13 Specialised Deposit and Taking Institutions and forwarded by EOCO to the Attorney General for advice and prosecution.

The BoG mentioned the institutions as CDH Savings and Loans, IFS FS, Midland Savings and Loans, Goldman Capital, MFC, GN Savings and Loans, Legacy Capital Savings and Loans, Express Savings and Loans and UniCredit Savings and Loans.

The rest are Dream Finance Limited, FTS Capital MFC, Cypress MFC, and AdomSika MFC.

With BoG’s clearance, the Receiver collaborated with EOCO to investigate certain transactions relating to the 347 Microfinance Companies and 23 Savings and Loans and Finance House Companies in 2019.

The BoG said it gave clearance to the Joint Receivers of the 347 Microfinance Companies and the 23 Savings and Loans and Finance House Companies to refer some matters to EOCO for criminal investigations.

“The key issues submitted to EOCO are as follows: Hidden assets and or assets in books not found by the Receiver, related party transactions and untraceable investments,” the BoG said.

The BoG document said in the course of assessing the financial position of the defunct microfinance finance and finance houses, it was detected that there was a mismatch in the assets and liabilities as reported by those institutions.

“In addition, there were transactions that required further investigations to determine their legitimacy,” the BoG said.

It said the Receiver in collaboration with EOCO has so far identified 100 landed properties for further investigations to ascertain their ownership status, adding that comprised 68 landed properties relating to five Micro Finance Companies and 32 relating to Savings and Loans Companies.

“The purpose of obtaining freezing orders is for EOCO and Receiver, is to among others, ascertain the ownership of the properties, ascertain whether the properties were acquired with the resources of the defunct institutions and prevent owners from dissipating the assets before the Receiver starts the realisation process,” the BoG said.

On UT and Capital Banks, the BoG said with clearance from the Central Bank, the Joint Receivers collaborated with EOCO to investigate suspicious transactions relating to the two banks.

It said Joint Receiver were currently prosecuting key management personnel who were involved in the alleged suspicious transactions.

The licences of UT and Capital banks were revoked by the BoG and put under receivership.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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