Speaker worried over delay in revocation of financial institutions licences

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has expressed worry about the delay in the work of an ad hoc committee set up to probe the revocation of licences of financial institutions by the Bank of Ghana in 2017.

He chided the committee for not updating Parliament on its progress.

The Speaker in March 2021, referred a petition from two businessmen who owned affected banks, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr Kwabena Duffuor, to a seven-member committee to investigate the circumstances leading to their collapse.

Former stakeholders of the banks in question, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr Kwabena Duffuor founders of UT Bank and uniBank respectively petitioned Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange in the revocation of their licences of as well as delisting them from the stock exchange.

The petition also sought the restoration of the licences of the banks.

The Speaker, subsequently constituted a nine-member committee to look into the petition presented to the House and this was after the petition was officially brought before him by Mahama Ayariga, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central Constituency in the Upper East Region,

Dr Duffuor, founder of the now-defunct uniBank and Mr Amoabeng, former Chief Executive Officer of collapsed UT bank, had the licenses of their respective financial institutions revoked during the banking sector clean-up which commenced in 2017.

For UT Bank, the Bank of Ghana claimed it took the action against the institution because it was insolvent and unable to recapitalise despite several assurances from the company’s shareholders and the apex bank also gave similar reasons for revocation of uniBank’s licence, claiming the financial institution was significantly undercapitalised.

However, the committee is yet to report to Parliament on its findings and the bi-partisan parliamentary committee probing the issue was being chaired by Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker and the MP for Bekwai Constituency in the Ashanti Region

Mr. Bagbin stated that the standing orders were clear on that and when the issue was referred to the committee and it was unable to report within the period, a report should have been sent to the House stating reasons why it was unable to report on time which it had defaulted.

He also criticised the manner in which the financial sector clean-up was carried out.

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