Ghana Politics

Ayariga urges Parliament to fast-track probe into collapse of UT bank, uniBank

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Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga is asking the leadership of Parliament to update the House on a petition he filed on behalf of two Ghanaians whose banks were collapsed during the financial sector clean-up.

Two citizens, Prince Kofi Amoabeng and Dr. Kwabena Duffuor petitioned Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Stock Exchange for revoking the licence of UT Bank as well as uniBank and delisting them from the country’s stock exchange.

The petition also seeks the restoration of the licenses of these banks.

Mahama Ayariga wants the House to be furnished with an update on the matter and urged the committee to resume work on the petition in earnest.

“Mr. Speaker, if you recall, at the last meeting, a petition was presented to this House by two previous owners of some banks and Right Honourable speaker constituted a special committee chaired by your good self [Joseph Osei-Owusu]. I am just hoping that the committee is getting back to work in earnest to consider the petition,” he said.

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 apex bank claimed it took the action against the institution because it was insolvent and was unable to recapitalise despite several assurances from the company’s shareholders.

The apex bank also gave similar reasons for the revocation of uniBank’s license, saying the financial institution was significantly undercapitalized.

The Bank of Ghana also claimed that shareholders of uniBank used monies from the bank to acquire estate properties in their own names.

According to the central bank, “uniBank’s shareholders and related parties admitted to acquiring real estate properties in their own names using the funds from the bank under questionable circumstances.”

While uniBank was merged with four other banks to form the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, the Bank of Ghana gave GCB permission to takeover UT bank.

Dr. Duffuor is currently litigating the collapse of his bank with the hope of getting the court to declare that, merging his bank with others to form the Consolidated bank is null and void.

Mr. Amoabeng, per the petition documents, said his bank’s licence was revoked “without due regard to the rules of Administrative Justice guaranteed under article 23 of the 1992 Constitution.”

He is thus asking Parliament to give a directive for the restoration of the licence.

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