Pressure group Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has said less than 15 per cent of customers of the nine banks that were collapsed by the Bank of Ghana, have been fully paid their deposits.
A statement from ASEPA signed by Mensah Thompson, Executive Director, said the Deputy Minister of Finance was in Parliament a few days ago answering questions on the “so-called banking sector reforms” and made “a number of untruthful claims which we would like to clarify”.
Prominent among them, ASEPA said, was the claim that “about 96% of customers of collapsed financial institutions have received their locked-up funds”, explaining that legal actions being pursued by some of the banks in connection with the revocation of their licence, is to blame for the remaining 4 per cent not having yet had access to their funds.
ASEPA said the deputy minister’s claim “isn’t only false but extremely capricious”.
It said apart from UT Bank and Capital Bank, some of whose assets and liabilities, the BoG asked GCB to take over after their “vicious collapse, which led to some payments of customers, not so much has been done to pay customers of the collapsed financial institutions” except for the “needless validations, re-validations and counter-validations by the Receiver”.
ASEPA said “even in the case of UT Bank and Capital Bank, the government did not give GCB Bank money to pay the customers, however, it issued a bond of GHS2 billion”, thus, “putting GCB under pressure to dip its hands into its own reserves to pay off some of the customers of the collapsed UT Bank and Capital Bank”.
The government “deliberately leaked information on banks targeted for collapse to its inner-circle and friends”, ASEPA claimed, explaining that it made some companies and persons close to the government to quietly move their portfolios in those banks earmarked for collapse to safety, even before closure, thereby, “reducing the liquidity of the collapsed banks tremendously and you can check the records from May to August 2018”.
The group said less than 5% of customers of fund management companies have actually been paid, noting that for savings and loans companies, the estimate is around 3% while those paid by in the microfinance sector, hover around 6%.
It said commercial banks or universal banks have the highest number of customers paid, because of the 50% discounted coupon being redeemed at CBG.
“Close to 15% have redeemed their 5-year non-tradeable zero-coupon bonds at CBG at a discount of 50%”, which means “they had to forfeit half of their locked-up funds”.
ASEPA said the government has little commitment to paying customers, adding: “In fact, it does not even intend to pay them in its second term and that is why a 5-year zero-coupon bond was issued to customers of the collapsed banks”.
“Now, it is evidently clear that the deputy minister of finance did not only lie to Ghanaians”, but “deceived Parliament, too, and must be held for contempt of Parliament or be dragged to the Privileges Committee if he is a Member of the House”.