Ghanaians should not leave their local banks – ICU

By Portia Addo/Irene Estelle Akrong, GNA

Accra, Sept. 13, GNA – Mr Solomon Kortei,
General Secretary of Industrial and Commercial workers Union (ICU), has urged
Ghanaians to continue to save their monies at their various local commercial
banks to increase development in Ghana.

The ICU General Secretary said, “we must
support the local banks to overcome the obstacles, if we withdraw from the
services of the local banks we would be hitting the last nail to their coffin”.

He however expressed concern about the manner,
the Bank of Ghana carried out the process of liquidating the five banks, which
had brought fear and panic to the investor community.

The ICU General Secretary said the fear has
resulted in panic withdrawal, internally and externally and one can say with
certainty that people are now keeping more money on them rather than saving at
the bank especially with what happened to UT Bank and Capital Bank last year.

Mr Kortei in an interview with the Ghana News
Agency on the banking crises explained that now people are beginning to
question the security of the banking sector, “what if tomorrow we go to our
bank and it is also closed down.

“There is also suspicion that there are more
banks to go even though I cannot point out the various banks. We have actually
reduced the confidence level in the banking sector”.

Mr Kortei noted that, “It was obvious that if
you are bringing five banks that were formed on different philosophies together
to form a consolidated bank, you create a problem merger of different business
cultures within a short period.

“The new management through the consolidated
bank cannot carry out the principles, dreams and visions from the five
different banking cultures, we are concern with the job losses.

“We cannot be the ostriches that we are not
too clear of what is going to happen. We are expecting that after announcing
that 93 branches are going maintained, some the staffs are going to suffer”.

Tracing the genesis of the current banking
crises, Mr Kortei said the woes of the banks started ever since the Bank of
Ghana decided to raise the minimum capital to GHC400, 000,000.00.

He said analytical study of the environment
reveals that the foreign banks are not struggling and experiencing the challenges
of raising the minimum capital which the local banks are going through because
they have the support of their parent banks from their home country.

“We are not even sure of the number of the
local commercial banks who would survive at the end of the exercise.

Mr Kortei urged the Bank of Ghana to go ahead
to find out all those whose acts of omission and commission contributed to the
collapse of the five banks, “we should begin to interrogate whether proper due
diligence was conducted during the process of setting up those banks and others
currently operating”.


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