The Unibank dilemma: A customer asks questions

The Unibank dilemma: A customer asks questions
Source: Donald Agumenu
Date: 22-03-2018 Time: 12:03:37:am

I write this piece as a customer of the bank and a Ghanaian - a true believer in building and supporting wholly-owned Ghanaian businesses for socio-economic development and job creation.

I am tempted to pose some few questions to both the previous administration and the current one and I sincerely hope to get some answers to the benefit of both the local and the International community as well.

Notwithstanding the face value of the issues presented by BoG, let’s not overlook the cost of building a business empire and reputation to the level of Unibank!  It’s no mean an achievement. A business like this, especially with good records for all these years, should be supported, nurtured and sustained from collapse to serve as a successful indigenous example for others to follow.

My questions:

1. What really caused the delay in redeeming government’s indebtedness to UNIBANK from the NDC government to the NPP government? Can someone help me out?

2. Have we done a proper evaluation and assessment of the cost of collateral damage to the entire banking and financial sector with this takeover and other related cases in the sector?

3. What about the damage to investor confidence in the economy?

4. If the Central Bank will pump money into Unibank under a different management with or at a cost, then why can’t they do same for the bank directly to save the situation?

5. Why should the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank in good faith, knowing how Unibank suffered with delays in payment from GoG, be allowed to go through this humiliation?

6. Not undermining the fiscal policies and regulations of the Central Bank, may I know if this is the best global practice?

7. May I know if the Finance Minister and the Central Bank Governor could educate us the more on this? 

8. Should we suggest that this could be pressure from the IMF? If so, why?

That notwithstanding, the manner in which the Unibank problem has been handled in my opinion is disappointing.

9. Why was Deutsche Bank saved from collapse in 2016?

10. Why can't we also be strategic in ensuring sustainability and growth in a case like this? Given the high cost of resolving banks, why don't we use a fraction of that amount to save the biggest indigenous bank (Unibank)?

11. What is the cost of business services of KPMG to the Central Bank and possibly Unibank in this transaction for the period of six months? Can that be made public?

12. The time value for money can’t be overemphasized. If we had paid Unibank's claims of about ¢800 million on government promptly, won’t the story be different?

Let’s give a chance to our local financial sector to regain hope and business confidence.

And more importantly, let the owners of Unibank be given the chance to take over again if they are able to reimburse the Bank of Ghana for any additional liquidity injected. I’m very convinced this will go a long way to restore the lost confidence and win trust for our economy.

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