Government has refuted claims that the recent merger of 5 local banks to form a consolidated bank is politically motivated.
The Central Bank on August 1 merged Unibank, The Royal Bank, Sovereign Bank, The Construction Bank and Beige Bank under the new name Consolidated Bank of Ghana Limited.
Announcing the merger, the governor of the Central Bank Ernest Addison explained the move was aimed at ensuring that the banking sector maintains a strong indigenous presence— an explanation the Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central Isaac Adongo dismissed.
According to him, the move was deliberate to collapse huge local banks.
“…This is an administration in disguise announcing the fiscal cost of dissolving these banks in other to manage expectations of players in the industry. And I want to tell you emphatically, a culmination of regulatory collaboration to bring bigger industry players on their knees,” said the Bolgatanga Central Lawmaker in a Starr News interview.
But addressing a news conference Wednesday, the Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the move by the Central Bank has become necessary due to the distress in the financial sector.
“There are some who seek to reduce everything in this country to partisan politics. Indeed, in recent weeks, I am sure that you have heard some political actors claiming that the cleanup is politically motivated and that it is ill driven or was an attempted to rather collapse the system.
According to him, “this is rather the time to tone down and soberly reflect and come to terms with the nature of the challenge and the efforts that the new administration is making to resolve it.”
He said if the administration wanted to be partisan with the issues in the banking sector, “then the current administration would rather be the one with the moral high ground to question members and assigns of the previous administration on what they did all of these years as the situation deteriorated further.”
“But our focus is to govern and to deliver change in all areas including the financial services sector and so we will stick to that and leave the partisanship for another day,” he stated.
On the way forward, Oppong-Nkrumah said the government believes that Ghana should have a strong financial services sector, especially also having strong indigenous Ghanaian banks.
“And this is demonstrated in how we have assisted locals banks sometimes with debts, sometimes with equity so that they can assume the struggling indigenous banks. And the commitment remains that we shall endeavour to live up to it,” he stated.