No politics in banking crisis investigations – Analyst warns

The Central Bank
Bank of Ghana

For the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to effectively crack the whip on those found complicit in the collapse of seven local banks the investigative process must be free of any political interference, Francis Owusu Acheampong, a risk management analyst, has said.

“When the central bank reluctantly cracks the whip by collapsing the affected banks which were insolvent by all computations, suddenly people begin to read unnecessary political meanings into this. This is most regrettable, seeing that this situation would not be tolerated in any other jurisdiction irrespective of who founded or managed the erring banks.

Let us allow the central bank to clean the stable (even if they themselves erred at some point), tame the erring horses and ensure that these things to do not recur to shatter the already low confidence of the people heading local banking institutions,” he said.

He added that: “The micro-finance institutions are seriously suffering the effects of these unfortunate developments. Let us purge ourselves of the tendency to read political innuendos into otherwise serious economic and governance issues for the good of this country”.

Mr. Acheampong further admonished the country’s law enforcement institutions to follow the example set by some advanced countries, which do not apply the law based on the political affiliation of persons involved.

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“Does criminality (even if it is merely alleged) now have political colours? Is that how the so-called advanced countries we so admire built their countries?  Or we should wait for 300 years to build our democratic, legal and corporate governance structures because that is how long it has taken America to come to where it is – where even a sitting president and his associates are under siege from an independent investigator?

“Paul Manafort has just been jailed in America, notwithstanding his social and political status! Wells Fargo, a key bank in the US, is under intense scrutiny by the US Senate devoid of any partisan considerations.  Iceland has jailed 26 bankers for their roles in the 2008 financial meltdown in the US. And we sit here needlessly brewing pettiness.

“If executives in the collapsed banks audaciously and systematically plundered depositors’ funds, should we be concerned now with who benefited from the infractions and what party they belong to,” he asked.

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