Severance awards to UT, Capital banks workers: Parliament to engage BoG

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah (with microphones in front), Chairman, Finance Committee of Parliament, making a statement at the probe into the defunct banks at  Parliament House, Accra.
Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah (with microphones in front), Chairman, Finance Committee of Parliament, making a statement at the probe into the defunct banks at Parliament House, Accra.

The Finance Committee of Parliament is to engage with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to fast-track the payment of severance packages for former workers of defunct UT and Capital banks.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, told journalists in Accra yesterday that it was about a year since the collapse of the two banks and the workers were supposed to receive their severance packages.

“If you go into the law, it will take some time for these severance packages to be paid but we have the opportunity to engage with the BoG so that some of these things could be fast-tracked.

“It is about a year since these workers were laid off and we think it is about time those severance packages were given”, he said.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah was briefing journalists on the ongoing in-camera probe into the factors leading to the collapse of seven local banks.

Officials of KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Consolidated Bank Limited appeared before the committee yesterday, and officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Insurance Commission (NIC) are scheduled to appear before the committee today.


Last Tuesday, officials of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), led by the Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, as well as officials of the Ministry of Finance, led by a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, appeared before the committee to answer questions relating to the collapse of the banks.

The BoG withdrew the licences of the UT and the Capital banks in August 2017, and in August this year it revoked the licences of the Sovereign Bank, uniBank, the BEIGE, Royal and Construction banks and merged them into an entity known as the Consolidated Bank Limited.

Severance packages

Dr Assibey-Yeboah said Act 930 spelt out clearly what a receiver should do, and indicated that a receiver was answerable to the BoG.

However, he said, because matters about employee severance were involved, the committee wanted to know how soon the former workers of UT and Capital banks would get their severance package.

He said the receivers had given the committee a hint on how they had arrived on the severance packages they were going to give to the former workers.

Meetings

Dr Assibey-Yeboah indicated that the meetings with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (joint receivers of UT and Capital banks) and KPMG (the receivers of the five collapsed banks) had been useful.

“We are still gathering information and going over the documents from Pricewaterhouse coopers and KPMG. These deliberations have been useful”, he said.

On the appearance of the SEC and the NIC, Dr Assibey-Yeboah said the collapsed banks had holding companies which were into pensions, insurance and asset management.

Therefore, he said, the committee wanted to know the extent that the banks were exposed to their subsidiary companies.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah said after the deliberations, the committee could invite the receivers and others involved to attend upon the committee again for some clarifications.