The Bank of Ghana has expressed its frustration over the slow pace of work by the two receivers appointed in the aftermath of seven banks collapsing over the last two years.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, Dr. Ernest Addison said the Bank’s high expectations in recovering as much assets from collapsed banks as possible are not being met by the receivers.
Responding to a question on how much assets have been realised so far by the receivers in the process, Dr. Addison said: “This is what I wake up every day worrying about, because the process is not going well. The receivership process is not going well. We have receivers for the five banks, KPMG and PwC, for UT and Capital Bank.
“Two years ago, the Bank of Ghana announced the withdrawal of universal banking licences from Capital and UT Banks and approved their takeover by GCB Bank in a purchase and assumption transaction.
“The central bank then appointed Mr. Vish Ashiagbor, Senior Country Partner of PwC, as a receiver – who was tasked to recover the remaining assets not transferred to GCB and use that to offset with liabilities realised during the receivership process.
“But since that announcement was made, the central bank said progress in the receivership process has not been encouraging – considering the fact that more than GH¢2.2billion of the taxpayers’ monies have been spent on total liabilities of the two banks.
“PwC recovered GHS500 million. I pushed them to publish the lest of debtors of the banks – which I heard they have done. That was after I had literally threatened them. We had to push them in order to try to recover.
“Similarly, we are going to get KPMG to come out and tell the public what it has done as part of the receivership. We have to be accountable to the people. We have already told the receiver we think we cannot continue at the pace they are working,” the Governor stated.
KPMG was last year appointed as receiver for the five banks that were collapsed into Consolidated Bank, Ghana.
The five banks – Beige, Sovereign, Construction, UniBank and The Royal Bank – had racked up liabilities in excess of GH¢5.6billion which were cleared with a number of bonds issued for that purpose.
The Bank of Ghana is hopeful that it can recover portions of the amount spent to cater for liabilities from the receivership – which has not been the case so far.
The Governor said going forward, the central bank will have to compel the receivers to, at least, come out every quarter to update the public on what is happening in the receivership process.