Banking and Corporate Governance Consultant, Dr. Richmond Atuahene

The Bank of Ghana was right to decline invitation by Parliament to assist with investigations into the revocation of the banking licenses of defunct uniBank and UT Bank, Banking Consultant, Dr. Richmond Atuahene has revealed.

According to him, the Central Bank has the power per the Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act to turn down the invitation.

The regulator argued that the decision to decline parliament’s invitation was according to its statutory powers under the Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, Act 930.

Dr. Atuahene told Joy Business it was wrong for Parliament to summon the Central Bank in the peak of the cases pending at the courts.

“The Bank of Ghana was only referring to the BSDI 2016, Act 930, stating the fact that the law in sections 140, 141, 140, 142,143 explicitly states that the resolution process and arbitration. So I believe the Bank of Ghana lawyers were only stating the fact of the law not to appear before parliament. Ideally what parliament should have done after all this hullabaloo is when the dust has settled, then they will take a critical review of what happened in the sector. What did we do? What could we have done which we didn’t do? And possibly improve the legal side of it. That would have been one of the best thing that would have happened to this country”.

Citing a similar issue in England, Dr. Atuahene said “In England, they allowed the dust to settle and then appointed and selected a committee to look at what happened. What could have be done? What we didn’t do? It is not in the middle of the court issue that one is required by Bank of England to respond to an invitation. It is when the dust has settled, a year or a year later when the law has taken its own course then the parliamentary select committee in UK…we call it the treasury select committee, which would look at what happened, the ramification and what should have been done which we didn’t do”.

“It is not in the peak of the case in court that the Bank of Ghana will be summoned to parliament”, he pointed out.

Dr. Atuahene also noted that the country could have taken the Nigerian experience where the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) with an intended 10 years lifespan acted as the buyer of banks for the Nigerian government by acquiring the non-performing loans (NPL) of failed banks.

“Why don’t we adopt, we could even adopt the Nigerian way where we can appoint Economic and Financial Crime office, and then set a date to deal with the issue. Again they could even suggest that we create special courts to deal with these financial and economic crime rather than doing it in ordinary courts, which takes such a long time to resolve”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Joint Receiver of the collapsed Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions, Eric Nana Nipah says more than GH¢1.0 billion is needed to pay some customers of the defunct financial institutions, who submitted their claims after the deadline for the validation of claims on July 4th, 2020.