Parliament begins probe into banking crisis today

By Clement Edward Kumsah
Parliament: Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah
Chairman of Parliament's Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah

Parliament of Ghana will today September 5, 2018, begin an in-camera hearing on the banking crisis that has hit Ghana's banking sector recently.

The 25-member Finance Committee is expected to focus on the role the Bank of Ghana played in the collapse of the banks, and determine the extent of culpability of central bank officials.

The 25-member Finance Committee will also invite the officials of the Finance Ministry, managers of the banks, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boulders among others for questioning.

There have been calls for the Finance Committee of Parliament to hold the sitting in Public but the committee has explained that considering the sensitivity of the matter the committee will sit in-camera.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, in an interview with Class FM said “We’re meeting the Bank of Ghana from 9 am until 1 pm on Wednesday and then in the afternoon we’ll meet with the Ministry of Finance”.

He said on Thursday, the committee will meet first with PricewaterhouseCoopers and then with KPMG and then the new Consolidated Bank officials.

On Friday, the committee will meet other regulators like the Security and Exchanges Commission and the National Insurance Commission.

Dr Assibey noted that: “We have to get firsthand information, we cannot rely on media commentaries to make informed opinions, so, we’re meeting with the institutions.”

Meanwhile, ahead of the sitting, two Ghanaians petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, to allow for a public hearing of the legislature’s probe into the crisis.

The two, Nana Adofo Ofori and Anthony Mifetoo, argued that the decision by the finance committee to hold the hearings in-camera is counterproductive.

Seven banks have collapsed in Ghana within the last year.

According to the Bank of Ghana, whereas some of the banks had liquidity challenges, others obtained their banking licenses through dubious means.

Some of the collapsed banks allegedly squandered millions of cedis given them by the BoG as liquidity support.

Some Ghanaians have however called sanctions for persons whose actions caused the collapse of the banks.

The government has issued about GHc8 billion in bonds to defray the debt left behind at the expense of Ghanaians.

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