Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has assured depositors whose funds have been locked up in regulated but defunct financial institutions of full restitution of their funds.
According to him, the government empathises with depositors, who have endured anguish and hardships through no fault of theirs.
To this end, the government has pledged to restore 100 per cent of their locked up funds, once they have been verified.
“Employees whose salaries and employee benefits had been unpaid by the defunct institutions have been paid or are being paid by the receivers. Government has already spent over Ghc 13 billion paying depositors of banks and other financial institutions, and the President has given the assurance and I will like to repeat that no depositor of a bank, savings and loan or microfinance company would lose even a pesewa of their deposits,” he said.
“In a further move to address residual pain from previous collapses, government will secure the funds and pay up the victims of DKM, who lost part of their investments after the Bank of Ghana suspended the operations of the DKM in 2015,” he added.
Dr Bawumia made this known yesterday at the Townhall Meeting and Results Fair in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
The Vice-President accused the erstwhile Mahama government of playing the Ostrich, burying its head in the sand and papering over the cracks, which were noticeable as far back as 2012.
“We inherited a financial system that was weak and fragile with several institutions that had collapsed or were on the verge of collapse. The Bank of Ghana, in cleaning up and strengthening the financial sector, revoked the licenses of many banks, savings and loans and microfinance companies. Some have criticized the action of the central bank for a variety of reasons,” he said.
“(But) first of all, let us remember that the failures of financial institutions that we have witnessed recently, were a direct result of a system of poor licensing, non-existent capital, weak corporate governance characterised by related party transactions, political influence peddling, cronyism, among other things,” he added.
Dr Bawumia continued, “the NDC government and the previous management of the Bank of Ghana had ample time to address impending failures. They were aware of the problems in 2015 in the case of banks and as far back as 2012 in the case of savings and loans and micro finance companies. Even in opposition, I alerted the country that on the basis of available data, 8 banks were likely to collapse but they refused to act.”
The Vice-President noted that the swift and decisive action taken by the new management team at the Bank of Ghana provided relief for the financial system as a whole through the funds provided by Government for depositor payouts.
He noted that over a million depositors have had access to their deposits already and over 7,000 jobs have been saved as a result of employees taken on by GCB, CBG, or the receivers.