Republic Bank settles GH¢1 million SEC fine

Republic Bank has finally paid the GH¢1 million fine imposed on it by the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) for breaching rules in the purchase of Union Bank of Nigeria shares in HFC Bank.

The payment, according to the Caribbean bank,  was made on Wednesday March 12, 2015.

The bank had earlier planned to contest the fine in court, but later dropped that plan.

Read below a statement from the bank on the payment of the fine:

Republic Bank Limited advises that the long outstanding claims of insider trading and breaches of SEC procedures by various shareholders of HFC Bank have been brought to conclusion. 

In a letter dated March 3, 2015, the SEC indicated that it found no evidence of insider trading in Republic Bank’s acquisition of shares from Union Bank.

Mr. Robert Le Hunte, Director, Africa Operations of Republic Bank, expressed satisfaction that SEC has cleared the Bank of insider trading and hopes that these findings will bring closure to all of the allegations of insider trading.

At the same time, the SEC, while recognising a lack of clarity caused by decisions of the SEC and the Bank of Ghana, found that Republic Bank had unintentionally breached certain rules of the Takeover Code in its said acquisition. Republic Bank has been asked to pay 1,000,000 Ghanaian Cedis.

In an effort to conclude this matter, and without any admission of wrong doing on its part, Republic Bank has decided not to contest the ruling and has agreed to make full settlement as proposed by the SEC. Full payment has been made today. Republic Bank affirms that all its actions have been based on its understanding of rules and regulations of the regulatory bodies.

Le Hunte said, “We have remained committed to following due process since our initial investment in HFC Bank and we hope that with the conclusion of this matter that all interested parties will move swiftly toward concluding the long outstanding mandatory takeover process (MTO) – the internationally recognized process that gives shareholders, the ultimate owners of the company, the opportunity to make a decision on their shares and the future direction of the company.”

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