Former employees of UT, Capital bank demand payment of exit package

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman

Former employees of the defunct UT and Capital banks have appealed to the government to ensure the immediate payment of their exit package to alleviate the financial hardship they are enduring currently.

They claimed that since their redeployment seven months ago, majority of the 1200 former workers, particularly those who were not absorbed by the GCB Bank, remained unemployed and had not been paid their Provident Fund (PF) and end of service benefit (ESB) under the tier three pension scheme.

“For the records, the PF and the ESB were funds contributed from our own salaries on a monthly basis and we are entitled to be paid these benefits immediately,” they stated.

‘Left worse off’

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra on Thursday, a spokesperson of the ex-employees of the two defunct banks, Mr Stephen Ernest Aning, said “It seems our financial, social and psychological well-being is irrelevant in the scheme of things and we have been left worse off through no fault of ours.

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“We would like to emphasise that apart from the obvious financial loss and its attendant difficulties, we have suffered emotional losses, social losses and psychological losses due to the major embarrassment we have endured among our friends, families, societies in which we live and among our peers in other banks,” he stated.

Revocation of license

On August 14, 2017, employees of the UT and Capital banks were hit with the shocking news that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had revoked the licenses of their respective banks due to severe impairment of capital.

The action, which was in line with section 123 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), authorised the GCB to take-over the management of the defunct banks under a purchase and assumption agreement.

The central bank also appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as receiver for the purpose of winding down the affairs of the two banks.

Staff loans

Mr Aning said following the revocation of the license of the two banks, the ex-employees appointed UNICOF to negotiate an exit package on behalf of staff.

He said per the PwC letter dated January 15, 2018, an agreement was reached with UNICOF for the former to pay all staff their exit package and reiterated that the PF and ESB were funds contributed from staff salaries on a monthly basis.

Touching on a comment by the Country Senior Partner of PwC, Mr Vish Ashiagbor on April 12, 2018 that the PF and ESB of the ex-employees have not been paid because they pledged them against staff loans, Mr Aning said, “We the former staff of ex-Capital Bank would like to put it on record that we have not signed any such pledge form, neither was such a clause embedded in any loan offer letter to staff.”

Plight of staff

Mr Aning said while the purchase and assumption transaction was conducted to ensure that no single customer lost their deposit, stakeholders must consider the plight of the staff whose lives and livelihood had been turned upside down overnight.

He, therefore, urged the government, the BoG, Parliament and relevant stakeholders to take a second look at the laws governing liquidation “because the current status leaves employees very vulnerable and dispensable.”