Running mate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Kofi Asamoah-Siaw says it has become evident that the banking sector clean-up exercise was a deliberate attempt to collapse businesses.
The former manager of defunct GN Bank laments the exercise was orchestrated to hurt businesses of political opponents of the NPP.
Addressing a press conference in Elmina today, the running mate touched on the issue of the defunct GN Bank saying the collapse of the bank was an agenda by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“It is now evident that the whole government’s financial sector reform was cleverly orchestrated to hurt industrialists from other regions who were perceived as political opponents. We urge Ghanaians to vote out this government that is determined to destroy jobs by collapsing businesses of perceived political opponents.”
According to him, “It is imperative to state that GN Bank shareholders invested heavily in developing 300 branches by building most of them, putting in place IT infrastructure, recruiting thousands of workers and had over 1.2million customers. GN Bank further attracted capital from the George Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) to complete the national expansion project. We want to emphasize that GN Bank Expansion was NOT done with customer funds.
At the time the bank was shut down, NO Groupe Nduom company owed any money. The only debt left was what was paid to Gold Coast customers which was covered with receivables from government agencies. If the receivables had been paid, GN Bank would not have only existed but would have been one of the most liquid banks in Ghana. We sincerely believe that if the Government of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana cared about the staff and the customers, they could have resolved the matter easily. That is why the matter is in court.
He continued: “Regrettably, because this simple reconciliation of government’s indebtedness was not done, the shareholders have lost their licenses, the values of their shares vanished, the goodwill associated with the business entity of many years of sweat and hard work evaporated.
It is worthy of note that, areas the bank had invested and opened up branches were areas where major foreign banks had abandoned, denying the people and even public servants financial intermediary services. As an illustration, GN Bank took over the premises of Standard Chartered Bank at Ayamfuri and also went to Bawku and beyond in the Upper East Region when Barclays Bank now ABSA had left the area. In the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, North-East, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, the bank had its branches in every district capital.
In the central Region we had branches in Elmina, Cape Coast, Moree, Asebu, Kyekyewere, Assin Fosu, Dunkaw, Mankessim, Apam, Mumford, Agona Swedru, Kasoa, Awutu, Afransie, Agona Abirem, Ajumako, Asikuma, Ayamfuri, Bawdjiase, Beposo, Potsin, Bontrase, Biriwa, Jukwa and many more.
This infrastructure was created to ease movement of money around the country to support businesses for increased economic activity and productivity. It is both shameful and painful that all these investments have gone down the drain because government did not take its time to resolve its own indebtedness to the shareholders. Following this, the people in these difficult-to-go places have been denied access to financial services and have had their businesses and economic activities disrupted.”
Dr. Nduom in a suit, which is still pending in the High Court in Accra, has accused the Bank of Ghana(BoG) and the Minister of Finance of “deliberately and maliciously suppressing” the amount of money that the government owes GN Savings and Groupe Nduom. It would be recalled that on August 9, 2019, the Ministry of Finance informed the BoG that the government’s total indebtedness to Groupe Nduom was just GH¢ 30,329,483.84. This was far below the GH¢629,091,335.00, which Groupe Nduom says that government owes it.
Dr Nduom led his group of companies, to challenge the revocation of GN Savings and Loans’ licence by the Bank of Ghana. Counsel for the applicant, Justice Srem-Sai of Archbridge Solicitors argued that the reason for supressing the government’s indebtedness to GN Savings was to enable the BoG to reach the false conclusion that GN Savings was insolvent.
In an affidavit which was sworn to by Dr Nduom, it was stated that “while disputing the very existence of the IPCs debt-claims in the eyes of the public, the Bank of Ghana has at all times material nicodemously demanded that GN Savings assign the said IPCs to it.”