General News of Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Some private contractors failed to pay back loans contracted from uniBank, putting the bank in a distressed position, the central bank has conceded.
According to Second Deputy Governor, Mrs Elsie Awadzi, the contractors owed uniBank in excess of ?428 million. The amount represented loans procured to executive government contracts.
However, delays in payments by government for the contract works meant the contractors were unable to pay back the loans.
This created liquidity challenges for the bank compelling the regulator to take over the bank, the Central bank noted.
Apart from the huge sums owed the bank by contractors, the Bank of Ghana said the management of uniBank also did little to retrieve money from loan defaulters, further constricting the liquidity of the bank.
Mrs Awadzi said uniBank management failed to take advantage of several interventions by the central bank over the years, including a total liquidity support of ?2.2 billion to revitalise its operations.
The Deputy Governor related that the Ministry of Finance committed to settling part of the ?428 million the contractors owed the bank but that was not enough to make it solvent prompting the decision to take over its management.
The Bank of Ghana on Tuesday announced the appointment of an official administrator, KPMG, to take control of the bank and all its branches and carry out the responsibilities of the shareholders, directors, and key management personnel of UniBank with immediate effect.
The Governor, Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, said the takeover was due to challenges facing the bank.
His second Deputy, Mrs. Elsie Awadzi on Wednesday explained on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the key objective of the action was to save the bank from collapse.
“Our objective is to save the bank, keep it running….so it can continue to be an important part of the economy,” Mrs. Awadzi told the host of the Show, Daniel Dadzie.
She assured customers of the safety of their deposits and urged them not to rush to withdraw their money.
“Don’t take your money out and run the risk of losing it. There is no need to withdraw your money from the bank because your money is safe,” the Deputy Governor tried to boost confidence in the troubled bank.
She is positive that the official administrator, KPMG, “will rehabilitate the bank” and make it viable.
“…we believe that the bank will return to viability and become solvent and continue normal banking service,” she expressed confidence.
Click to listen to Mrs. Elsie Awadzi on Joy FM Super Morning Show:
Bank of Ghana takes over management of Unibank by GhanaWeb Editorial on Scribd