By Bernice Bessey .
Former staff of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), whose supervision led to financial malfeasance and the collapse of some seven commercial banks, are said to have been invited by the Economic and Organise Crime Office (EOCO) for questioning.
Although the names of those officers are yet to be made public, the Governor of the BoG, Ernest Addison, has indicated that EOCO is yet to invite any personnel in active service with the bank.
Speaking at the 84th regular meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday in Accra, he explained that the Apex Bank cannot be shielded from the chaos that has occurred in the financial sector.
“…I have said nearly six, seven or eight months ago that, obviously, the BoG was part of the difficulties we had, and I have not tried to shield the Bank of Ghana,” he admitted.
According to him, since the BoG operates in a certain context, it was important to shift blame on the former management under whose supervision all the malpractice happened.
Mr. Addison further stated that the bank expects EOCO’s report on investigations it has conducted on BoG and its officials who had been charged, and added that he is yet to find out whether any staff who is still working with the bank has been invited by the investigative body.
He also announced that an ethics and investigation unit has been setup to look into banks that were not properly licensed, staff working with those banks, and any person who will be found culpable of wrongdoing would be sanctioned.
On the Menzgold Ghana Company Limited saga, the Governor said the BoG supports the Securities and Exchange Commission’s action against Menzgold, and debunked rumors that the BoG was pumping thousands of dollars into the defunct gold buying company, describing the rumors as misinformation.
Touching on difficulties that have gripped the savings and loans companies, he said the BoG was holding talks with the Ministry of Finance to stabilise that segment of the financial sector.
He stated that measures were being put in place to address these difficulties. However, he holds the view that savings and loans companies that are insolvent should be liquidated.
While worrying, he couldn’t give any clear assurance that depositors’ funds with the insolvent savings and loans companies would be retrieved, since they were not insured.
“So now we have to be careful, because the deposits with these saving and loans institutions are not insured… so there has to be some cost associated in dealing with these insolvent institutions, with implications on budget.
“Here we are discussing what sorts of interventions to make in that segment of this financial sector. Who will pay for the cost for the resolution of that sector…that is where we are now,” he added.