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On March 7, 2018, UniBank announced that some financial bodies had pledged their shares, proceeds, entitlements, and voting rights to the bank to make it the majority shareholder in ADB.
These financial institutions included: Belstar Capital, a turnkey project finance implementation institution, Starmount Development Company Limited, EDC Investments Limited, and SIC-Financial Services.
This move received a swift response from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), denouncing as null and void, the purported takeover of ADB.
The BoG further explained that the takeover was null and void since it was not sanctioned by the central bank.
Thirteen days after the purported acquisition of ADB by UniBank failed, the BoG in a press release announced the takeover of UniBank and immediately appointed KPMG as the official administrator of the Bank.
The regulator quoted sections 107 and 108 of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) to back its decision.
A special report carried out by the AfricaWatch Magazine states that UniBank was brought down because the owner, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, is a member of the opposition NDC party.
The report claims that Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of BoG and Nii Amanor Dodoo, the appointed Administrator on behalf of the receiver (KPMG), colluded to collapse one of Ghana’s successful indigenous banks (UniBank).
The report further said the BoG acted against the rule of thumb in Ghana’s banking industry by singling out UniBank to carry out unannounced and unplanned monthly audits. Meanwhile, the law allows the BoG to carry out planned auditing of banks once every year, a duty the central had a timetable for and judiciously carried out for years.
Between May and October 2017, the BoG through its Banking Supervision Department sent four audit teams to UniBank, three of these visits were unannounced.
The teams audited and downgraded UniBank’s loan books, making its Capital Adequacy Ratio worse, the report indicated.
Curiously, the fourth audit team downgraded even the government and its agencies’ indebtedness to UniBank.
Ghana Government and its allied agencies indebtedness to UniBank amounted to about GHC 1 billion, an amount when paid to the bank would have raised its Capital Adequacy Ratio.
Note: The following government institutions owe UniBank the attached respective amounts:
Ministry of Finance…GH¢ 223,049,720,
Road Fund…GH¢ 229,434,748.82,
Bank of Ghana…GH¢ 19,781,376.00,
Qausi-government entities…GH¢ 98,553,636.86 and
Other government contractors…GH¢ 52,889,558.49.
Below is the full report;