By Nana Asare Barimah
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is charting a path that is dangerous for the financial sector in the country following the takeover of some indigenous banks by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Isaac Adongo, Bolgatanga Central MP, has said.
According to him, Mr Ofori-Atta is using the BoG to collapse banks owned by sympathisers of the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) including Heritage Bank owned by Seidu Agongo.
This development he said was dangerous for the Finance Minister himself since he also owns a bank, the Data Bank.
The BoG has withdrawn the licence of Heritage Bank on the basis that its majority shareholder, Mr Seidu Agongo, is not “fit and proper” to own a bank because he was being prosecuted by the state in connection with an alleged GHS271 million Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) fertiliser scandal, which is pending before the high court.
On Friday, 4 January 2019, the central bank Governor Dr Ernest Addison told journalists that: “The issue of Heritage Bank, I wanted to get into the law with you, I don’t know if I should, but we don’t need the court’s decision to take the decisions that we have taken.
“We have to be sure of the sources of capital to licence a bank, if we have any doubt, if we feel that it’s suspicious, just on the basis of that, we find that, it is not acceptable as capital. We don’t need the court to decide for us whether anybody is fit and proper, just being involved in a case that involves a criminal procedure makes you not fit and proper”.
But speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM with show host Kwabena Prah Jnr (The Don), on Monday January 8, Mr Adongo who is also the Minority’s Spokesperson on Finance said: “Ken Ofori-Atta is deliberately collapsing banks belonging to perceived opponents of the NPP. He should not forget that he also owns a bank and the future awaits him.”
“Heritage bank was in good standing, they met the Minimum Capital Requirement but the bank was taken over because Seidu Agongo, the owner belongs to the party NDC.”
“If Prudential Bank has been supported by the BoG to continue operations why couldn’t the BoG also support Royal Bank? Because of politics you are collapsing people’s banks.”