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It’s painful BoG collapsed Agongo’s Heritage Bank, Nduom’s GN Bank and Duffuor’s uniBank – Kweku Baako

The Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has said the collapse of Heritage Bank, GN Bank, and uniBank by the Bank of Ghana was painful.

“I felt for the three banks: Nduom’s bank [GN Bank], Heritage Bank that belongs to that young man, Seidu Agongo, because of his extension into radio we met a couple of times in 2014 and 2015) and Dr. Duffuor’s bank [uniBank],” he said on Accra-based Peace FM.

Speaking on the collapse of the Heritage bank owned by Seidu Agongo, Kweku Baako said “He [Agongo] is a young man and I appreciated him and I want to see a young man like him who does great things.”

He said “It was painful his bank went down…The same with uniBank.”

“I will tell [you] honestly; Dr. Duffuor is a personal friend but the action taken against the banks was not right,” he added.

Background

The Bank of Ghana revoked the licenses of some banks in its bid to clean up the sector.

The BoG cited various reasons including capital adequacy ratio crisis, poor corporate governance, overexposure to related parties among others.

The Central bank revoked Heritage Bank’s license on January 4, 2019, on the basis that the majority shareholder, Seidu Agongo, among other things, used proceeds realised from alleged fraudulent contracts he executed for the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), for which he and former COCOBOD CEO, Dr. Stephen Opuni are being tried, to set up the bank.

Announcing the withdrawal of the license, the Governor of the central bank, Dr. Ernest Addison told journalists – when asked if he did not deem the action as premature since the COCOBOD case was still in court – that: “The issue of Heritage Bank, I wanted to get into the law with you, I don’t know if I should, but we don’t need the court’s decision to take the decisions that we have taken.”

“We have to be sure of the sources of capital to license a bank; if we have any doubt, if we feel that it’s suspicious, just on the basis of that, we find that that is not acceptable as capital. We don’t need the court to decide for us whether anybody is ‘fit and proper’, just being involved in a case that involves a criminal procedure makes you not fit and proper”.

However, Agongo responded with a press statement in which he said that the “not fit and proper” tag stamped on him by the central bank was “capricious, arrogant, malicious and in bad faith”.

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According to him, “In purportedly making the determination, the central bank obviously had little regard for the time-honoured principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” adding that: “The fact that I have a case pending before the High Court is a matter of public knowledge but my guilt or innocence is yet to be determined by the Honourable Court”.