HFC Wants ‘Insider Trading’ Investigated

HFC Bank has cautioned the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) not to hide behind any mediation attempt by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in matters concerning the mandatory takeover bid of the Bank to suspend investigation into the alleged Insider Trading by Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT).

BUSINESS GUIDE has gathered that a 16 th February letter addressed to Mrs Muriel Edusei, an independent director of HFC Bank and signed by the Director-General of SEC, Adu Anane Antwi sought to stall the investigation until the end of the mediation by the BoG.

It stated that ‘SEC was about to end its investigation into the matter when it received a communication from Bank of Ghana that a mediator has been appointed to settle the matter between HFC Bank Limited, Republic Bank Limited and other parties who have filed complaints on the matter.’

But in a strongly-worded letter signed by Mrs Edusei as Board Chair of HFC Bank and Managing Director, Asare Akuffo, the Bank, said it was dissatisfied with the contents of the letter because the attempt at mediation is not linked to the complaint of Insider Trading by RBTT.

‘We wish to reiterate that the matter of alleged ‘insider trading’ is not a matter for mediation due to its repercussions on the integrity of both the capital market and HFC Bank.  Therefore your

institution is duty bound to do the right thing’ as your motto affirms,’ HFC Bank stated.

The response, which was addressed to Mr  Adu Anane Antwi, a day after he wrote his letter, was copied to the Governor

of BoG, Head of Banking Supervision, BoG, the Financial Intelligence Centre, MD of Ghana Stock Exchange (SEC) and the Chairman of SEC.

HFC Bank therefore urged SEC to conclude investigations on the matter initiated by the BoG on the request of the Bank, and notify it of the findings and responses as the two directors had formally requested.

Two non-executive independent directors of HFC Bank, Muriel Edusei and

Francis Koranteng lodged a formal complaint with SEC on 14 th January, 2015 to investigate and publish the findings of alleged Insider Trading by RBTT in order

to protect the integrity and enhance the confidence of the public and investors in the capital market and public institutions.

On 29 th January, 2015, the directors appeared before the Commission after an invitation was extended to them to try to resolve the issues surrounding the allegation.

There are issues of alleged insider trading, a criminal offence against RBTT which became a court matter between HFC Bank and RBTT and which remains unresolved.

The two non-executive independent directors therefore cautioned the HFC Bank Board not to turn a blind eye in view of shareholder interest because the Bank was duty bound to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegation.

BY Samuel Boadi

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