The Ghana International Bank says it never suggested that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was involved in money laundering.
A statement from the UK-based bank explains that the ongoing court case between the bank and a former staff, Mark Arthur, has mainly to do with whether Mr. Arthur breached the Bank’s internal policies and procedures.
It was also focusing on UK laws in transacting a business on behalf of the Asantehene.
Mr. Arthur was dismissed by the bank for failing to follow anti-money laundering rule after he deposited £350,000 in cash handed to him by the King.
Mr. Arthur is battling that decision in court and according to the Ghana International Bank, the ongoing legal proceedings are about whether the Bank was justified in dismissing Mark Arthur as it did, and not about the King.
Below is the statement
Mark Arthur V. Ghana International Bank Public Liability Company
Ghana International Bank Plc’s attention has been drawn to certain misrepresentations in the matter above and wishes to clarify its position as follows:
Ghana International Bank Plc. operates in the United Kingdom and is subject to the regulations of the Prudential Regulatory Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and the UK as a whole.
These regulations guide the bank’s internal procedures, policies as well as the conduct of all of its employees.
The Bank takes its legal and regulatory obligations very seriously as well as its duties and obligations to its customers. In this regard, staff are required under the bank's whistleblowing policy and UK laws to report all suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities.
The consequences of the Bank not fulfilling its obligations can be far-reaching at times. In some instances, staff seen to be liable could face a possible jail term and in extreme cases, the Bank itself could face a withdrawal of its operating license.
The ongoing case which has caught public attention is about Mark Arthur’s breaches of the Bank’s internal policies and procedures as well as UK laws.
The Tribunal’s proceedings and its findings will be about whether the Bank was entitled to dismiss Mark Arthur as it did and not about the King, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II.
There has never been any suggestion by the Bank that the King was or is involved in money laundering. In fact, we have no evidence to that effect. The bank has also not in any of its submissions questioned the integrity of the King.
With a focus on the substance of the matter and for customer confidentiality purposes, the bank had applied for an anonymity order in September of this year ahead of the Tribunal Proceedings in October. This would have eliminated the mention of name of the king in the proceedings of the tribunal. Additionally, the Bank never mentioned the King nor identified him in any of the documents submitted to the Tribunal in its defence.
Mark Arthur had however contested this and had won thus exposing the identity of the king and his name in the proceedings.
The Bank has maintained a long-standing relationship with the King and has worked closely with him on initiatives such as the Otumfuo Education Fund, in providing IT education to children in deprived communities. This is a project that the Bank is keen to continue supporting.
“The bank also wishes to clarify that contrary to earlier media reportage, Mark Arthur had neither sought nor received authorization from the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Joe Mensah.”
MYDDLETON COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED
(ON BEHALF OF MANAGEMENT OF GHANA INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC)
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