Finance Minister 'refused' to save UniBank – Dr Asiama speaks

Finance Minister 'refused' to save UniBank – Dr Asiama speaks
Source: Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy
Date: 26-01-2020 Time: 02:01:55:pm
Former BoG Deputy Governor, Johnson Asiama.

Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Asiama is blaming the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta for the collapse of UniBank.

According to the former Deputy Governor, Mr. Ofori-Atta allegedly declined to act on a suggestion he (Asiama) proffered for the struggling bank. 

“The Minister of Finance was actually invited to the Bank, based on my promptings to discuss these payments to UNIBANK, but he declined suggestions, on the grounds that UNIBANK had gotten enough support to thrive,” Dr. Asiama revealed in a statement issued over the weekend.

He added that: “Clearly, if at least part of these payments were done at the time, UNIBANK could have avoided the persistent daily clearing failures that eventually shut them out of the interbank money market.”  

Dr. Asiama, together with the Founder of the now-defunct UniBank, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor Senior as well as his son, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor Junior who later became CEO of the bank, have been invited by the Special Investigation Team of the Police Service for interrogation regarding their respective roles leading to the collapse of the bank.

Police say it’s only the former CEO who has been cooperating with their invitation. The Founder has gone to the court asking for an interlocutory injunction to prevent the Ghana Police Service from what he describes as “unlawful threats and harassment.”

Dr. Asiama, who his lawyers said was out of town, has expressed his willingness to meet the police investigators but only after the meeting is rescheduled.

Clarifying his role at the time UniBank was facing liquidity challenges in the statement issued Sunday, January 26, 2020, Dr. Asiama said the liquidity support granted to UniBank was meant to help address the persistent liquidity problems as we believed at the time.”

“We only acted to prevent a possible larger crisis that would have impacted negatively on the entire banking industry,” he indicated.

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