Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, remains resolute that the regulatory body is not going to relent in its supervisory role, a lack of which accounted, in the main, for the collapse of the two indigenous commercial banks – UT and Capital.
To reinforce this, the Governor has given strong indication that staff of the two collapsed banks, who are found culpable after investigations by the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO), will not be shielded but made to face the full rigours of the law.
We believe this will send the appropriate signals to bank staff that they would be held responsible for their actions and inactions. For far too long, people in such sensitive positions have enjoyed the goodwill of officialdom and have got away with murder.
The BoG is supposed to ensure a stronger financial sector for the health of the economy and has consequently commenced a raft of reforms that includes enforcement and adoption of Basel II and III guidelines.
Basel regulations, in the main, aim at strengthening prudent capital regulation, supervision and market discipline to enhance risk management and maintain financial stability and it is part of these reforms that requires commercial banks to meet the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million by December, 2018.
This is important to protecting the funds of depositors who often tend to be the first casualties of insolvency and liquidation.
We agree with the Governor that staff of the affected banks that supervised the collapse of these entities must not be spared the rod of correction and must answer for their actions.
Currently, some staff members of the collapsed banks are being grilled by EOCO and if found culpable, they should not be shielded as Dr. Addison has made clear.
Shielding anybody guilty of malfeasance or poor judgement will send the wrong signal to the public; it will strengthen the arms of those in the industry who are wont to take careless decisions that end up affecting us all.
The fact that the taxpayer is going to pay for the careless decisions of a few individual is reason enough for us to be all concerned about how these financial institutions are run.
The Deposit Protect law and the Ghana deposit Insurance Corporation should kick in full swing and work assiduously to save the banking industry from all acts of malfeasance and poor decision making. It would be good for us all.