Ex-bankers yet to receive psychological support

Business News of Saturday, 3 November 2018

Source: thebftonline.com

2018-11-03

The Central Bank has consolidated 5 banks and granted GCB permission to takeover 2 others

Ex-staff of Capital and UT Banks are yet to receive the requisite psychological support months after the sudden collapse of the two banks rendered majority of them jobless.

Challenges with securing their severance package, family pressure, and difficulty in getting new jobs, have all conspired to create an unfavourable state of mind for the former bankers.

Many of the ex-workers are also struggling financially and are unable to pay medical bills, school fees of their immediate dependents and to also support their extended family members who relied on them for occasional support.

The workers, in a statement, said: “One issue we have not highlighted strongly is the need for psychologists for staff to help cope with the effects of the liquidation. Like all human beings, various individuals handle issues differently and many of our colleagues are struggling to deal with the effect of the shock associated with the liquidation of our respective banks. What made it more shocking was the fact that, withdrawal of banking license though prescribed by law, it was an unexpected phenomenon in the industry at the time.”

They added that: “After our banks were put into receivership, we suffered anxieties on daily basis with no form of counselling whatsoever. This is obviously symptomatic of the attention Ghana as a country and organizations in general pay to mental health issues.

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It has been 14 agonizing months and some staff are still traumatized by the takeover of our respective banks and the sudden change in our living circumstances. After several months we have not been able to shake that feeling of shock, despair, anxieties, low self-esteem amongst others.”

They further asked that government negotiates with psychologists, make the list available to their leadership so affected staff across the country can visit these psychologists for free

“We also call on the Ghana Psychology Council to be more proactive with advocacy efforts to promote the use of psychologists in corporate organizations. We will also encourage them to take up this discussion with government on the way forward.

Finally, we will also like to reiterate the need for our Exit Pay to be paid to help alleviate our financial distress. As we stated in our press release on the 17th of October 2018, over Exit Pay of GHS40M is only about 10% of the GHS400M recovered as per the Joint Receivers statement dated 9th October, 2018.”

Background

On the 14th of August, 2017, the licenses of UT and Capital Banks were withdrawn by the Bank of Ghana due to severe impairment of capital in line with section 123 of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).

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Messrs Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah both Directors of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited were appointed as Joint Receivers for the purpose of winding down the affairs of the two Banks.

As a result of the receivership, the Joint Receivers terminated the contracts of staff numbering about 1,200 and an Exit Pay for staff was agreed with Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance (UNICOF) who acted on behalf of staff.

Despite this agreement, the Exit Pay has not been paid, necessitating a submission of a petition to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo on 20th of May, 2018.

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