Business News of Friday, 23 November 2018
The Office of Ethics and Internal Investigations of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has initiated investigations into the collapse of seven banks between 2017 and 2018.
Second Deputy Governor of the central bank, Elsie Awadzie, said the investigations were started at the request of the Management and will seek to probe the roles played by the staff of the central bank in the collapse of the banks.
“This Office will be coming out with a report – we hope soon – that will let us all know whether any of our staff members, past or present, were complicit in the failure of these banks. We think that is an important part of the correction process,” she said Thursday.
Mrs Awadzie was speaking on the sidelines of the Capital Market Conference organised by the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) as part of its 20 years anniversary celebrations.
The Conference was held on November 21 and 22 at the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra.
The Bank of Ghana in August this year merged five banks into the Consolidated Bank of Ghana Limited following insolvency and breaches of banking regulations.
The consolidation of BEIGE, Sovereign, Construction, UniBank and Royal Bank in August follows a similar action last year.
In 2017, UT Bank and Capital Bank also had their licences revoked by the Bank of Ghana over liquidity challenges. The two banks were later taken over by state-owned GCB Bank.
These challenges in the banking sector caused chaos in the financial system and forced the central bank to institute sweeping measures to salvage the sector.
Some commentators also blamed staff of the BoG, suspecting them of culpability in the crisis.
Speaking to Joy Business at the Capital Market Conference, Mrs Awadzi said the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the professional body for auditors, will soon publish a report on the role its members may have played in the crisis.
She disclosed that the central bank is coming out with directives to clarify the roles and the expectations of external auditors of banks “so that when all of us read the financial statements that published we can be sure that the right things have been done.”