A financial connoisseur, Sydney Casely-Hayford is pushing for officials of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) who issued fraudulent licenses to some banks to operate in the country to be jailed.
The prosecution and jailing of these officials according to Mr Casely-Hayford should include the owners of such banks due to the malpractice and illegality associated with their set up and operations.
His comments come in the wake the consolidation of five banks following their insolvency after investigations were carried out by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Speaking on Adom FM’s Current Affairs programme, Burning Issues on Wednesday, Mr Casely-Hayford said incarcerating the culprits would be the surest way to inhibit them from replicating such practices in the future.
The five banks are Beige, Construction, Sovereign, UniBank and Royal Bank.
In a statement issued by the BoG on Wednesday, “UniBank, Royal bank and Beige bank were deeply insolvent, meaning that their liabilities exceeded their assets, putting them in a position not to be able to meet their obligations as and when they fell due”.
“Construction bank and sovereign bank obtained their banking licenses by false pretences through the use of suspicious and non-existent capital, which has resulted in a situation where their reported capital is inaccessible to them for their operations”.
Mr Casely-Hayford believes the banking supervision department of the Central Bank has suffered major problems and “it is going to become very important that even after all this situation, that certain persons be arrested and tried and indicted and may be prosecuted and jailed”.
He said there are so many malpractices and illegalities going on in the sector which should not be tolerated, adding that some of the owners of these banks take monies from these struggling banks to set up other banks.
Mr Casely-Hayford believes that if those involved in those acts are not jailed, they may turn out to open up other banks elsewhere.
“If certain people are not jailed, people may think BoG has just taken interest in collapsing some banks when the purpose of this exercise is due to the investigations carried out on how these fraudulent licenses were attained to set up these banks”, he indicated.
Mr Casely-Hayford has advised all customers not to panic with the fear of losing their deposits because they are secured with the BoG.
“The panic should have been before but now that this consolidating and sanitizing is taking place, the deposits of customers are secure”, he said.
Similarly, a financial analyst and head of research of Groupe Nduom, Sammy Ampah has lauded the consolidation, saying the decision will “strengthen the banking sector” when speaking on the same show.
He said the rate at which licenses were being given out were not properly checked hence the crisis in the industry.