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Ghana banking crisis

On August 14, 2017, the central bank of Ghana (BoG) in its press release announced its approval for the takeover of two indigenous banks, UT Bank LTD and Capital Bank LTD, by GCB Bank LTD.[1] BoG cited the insolvency of the banks in question, as the major reason for the revocation of their operation licenses. According to BoG, upon several agreements with the banks to increase their capital requirements, managers of the banks failed. Consequently, to protect customers, the licenses of the banks were revoked under a Purchase and Assumption transaction with GCB Bank LTD.[2]

Roughly after a year later, on August 01, 2018, the central bank of Ghana again in a press release announced the consolidation of five indigenous banks to form a new bank called the Consolidated Bank Ghana LTD. The five collapsed banks included uniBank Ghana LTD, The Royal Bank LTD, Beige Bank LTD, Sovereign Bank LTD, and Construction Bank LTD[3] The same reason of insolvency was cited as a cause of the collapse of the various banks.[4] Within a span of two years, about seven indigenous banks have collapsed.[5]

Causes of Banks Collapse

Poor Corporate Governance

Poor Corporate Governance has been cited as one of the major causes of the collapse of the seven banks by BoG, and other financial analysts.[6] Board level and senior management where either inactive or engaged in activities that inured to their personal interests rather than to the growth of the banks. For instance, they were the observation that most of the non-performing loans were advanced to people who were related to senior board managers.[7] Furthermore, Board of Directors of banks failed to oversee bank accounting and corporate reporting systems as well as the external auditing system due to lack of experience or greed.[8] In addition, Board of Directors failed to provide proper functioning risk management framework. There was also the lack of independence and integrity among Chief Internal Auditors in most of the collapsed banks, leading to cover-ups for executive directors during review processes.[9] The general non-adherence to policies of corporate governance has greatly contributed to the collapse of these banks.[10]

Non-performing Loans

Non-performing loans is another key cause of the collapse of some of the banks. According to BoG, the banking sector assets quality remained a major concern as banks' stock of non-performing loans and non-performing loans ratio remained high.[11] It was observed that most of the collapsed banks had huge non-performing loans on their balance sheets.[12] Non-performing loans affects the banks in the following way, amongst others: increase in operating costs, leading to decrease in profitability.[13]This has financial ramifications for banks, which may cause capital reduction leading to undercapitalization.

Credit Risk

Credit risk refers to the risk that a borrower will default on a loan obligation to a bank or the issuer of a security held by a bank will default on its obligations.[14] Credit risk may arise in cases of inadequate income, loss in business, death, unwillingness and other reasons, on the side of the borrower.[15] Large losses generated by defaults of borrowers or issuers of security can lead to insolvency and possibly to the bankruptcy of a bank.[16] It was alleged that there was too much connivance in local banks to pick loans without any recourse to paying back or following appropriate policies.[17] Furthermore, due to bad corporate governance, appropriate risk management practices to reduce credit risks such proper monitoring and measuring mechanisms were not observed in credit deliveries.[18]

Regulatory Lapses

Regulatory lapses the central bank of Ghana is the chief regulator of Ghana's banking system. The prescribe the legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector of the country.[19] In its press release statement, BoG stated that

...regulatory non-compliance, and poor supervision, (questionable licensing processes and weak enforcement) lead to a significant build-up of vulnerabilities in the banking sector.[20]

All these responsibilities quoted above, falls within the regulatory and supervisory role of the central bank of Ghana.[21]Under any circumstance, the regulator is solely responsible for reading the proactive constructs of the provisions made within the laws to protect activities within the sector, in other to prevent situations of dire consequences.[22]

Causes Specific to the Various Banks

UT Bank LTD

Loan Against Collateral

In his recently launched book, former UT Bank employee Samuel Okyere observed that bank loans were granted solely as collateral loans, without any further analysis.[23]

Poor Credit Management Practices

A significant cause of bank failure is poor credit quality and deficient credit risk assessment and measurement practices; and therefore, the failure to identify or recognize an increase in credit risks in a timely manner can cause major problems.[24] An observation was made that there was non-adherence to credit management principles and procedures as due to the high exposure of the bank to insiders and related parties.[25] Okyere also noted that the loans approval process was the responsibility of one person, whose work was not properly checked.[26] Some auditors, Boulders Advisors Limited, in a document stated that their review of "Loans Granted to Related Parties not Connected to the UT Group" found out that there were "poor credit management practices, poor credit governance and supervision".[27]

Capital Bank LTD

Debt

Capital Bank was declared insolvent by central bank of Ghana. Its liabilities greatly exceeded its assets.[28]According to the financial analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford, noncollectable debts of GH¢11 billion owed to Capital Bank and UT Bank resulted in the collapse of the banks.[29]

Questionable License Process

It was reported that Capital Bank LTD procured its license under false pretense.[30]

Bad Risk Management and Funds Embezzlement

A report was made that Capital Bank collapsed because major shareholder William Ato Essien treated depositors funds and public funds as though they were his personal funds. [31]

The liquidity support of GH¢620 million, that was issued by the central bank of Ghana to Capital Bank to cure its liquidity struggles was allegedly mismanaged, leading to its collapse.[32]

uniBank Ghana LTD

Undercapitalization

According to the press release document by central bank of Ghana, during its Asset Quality Review (AQR) of banks conducted in 2015, and reviewed in 2016, uniBank Ghana LTD was identified to be significantly undercapitalized. Although the bank subsequently submitted a capital restoration plan to central bank of Ghana, the plan failed in returning them back to solvency and compliance to prudential requirement. Hence, it was found that the bank was beyond rehabilitation.[33]

Royal Bank LTD

Undercapitalization

The updated Asset Quality Review (AQR) of the central bank of Ghana revealed that, just as in the case of uniBank Ghana LTD, Royal Bank LTD was also significantly under-capitalized, plans to restore them back to solvency could not materialize. Hence, Royal Bank LTD was declared to be beyond rehabilitation.[34]

Construction Bank LTD

Obtaining License under False Pretense

Construction Bank was granted a provisional license in 2016 and subsequently launched in 2017.[35]According to the central bank of Ghana report, It emerged that Sovereign Bank LTD license was obtained by false pretenses through the use of suspicious and nonexistent capital.[36]

References

  1. ^ Communications Department (14 August 2017). "GCB BANK LTD TAKES OVER UT BANK LTD AND CAPITAL BANK LTD" (PDF). bog.gov.gh. Bank of Ghana. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "What you need to know about GCB's acquisition of UT Bank/Capital Bank". ghanaweb. www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  3. ^ Enoch Darfah, Frimpong (1 August 2018). "BoG collapses 5 banks into Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd". Graphic.com. Graphic Online. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Full Report: BoG collapses 5 banks into Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd". gbcghana.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  5. ^ Magdalene Teiko, Larnyoh (8 September 2018). "Here are the auditing firms for the 7 collapsed banks". pulse. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  6. ^ "GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES NEW INDIGENOUS BANK; BANK OF GHANA REVOKES LICENSES OF FIVE BANKS AND APPOINTS RECEIVER IN RESPECT OF THEIR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES" (PDF). bog.gov.gh. Bank of Ghana. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  7. ^ Debrah, Kwesi (23 April 2018). "Collapse of indigenous banks due to corporate governance failure – Banking consultant". myjoyonline. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  8. ^ Jerry, Afolabi (18 July 2018). "Feature: Why the local banks in Ghana are Collapsing". ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  9. ^ Jerry, Afolabi (18 July 2018). "Feature: Why the local banks in Ghana are Collapsing". ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  10. ^ Isaac, Owusu. "New Capital Requirement By Bog - Panacea For Bank Failures?". BusinessGhana. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Banking Sector Report" (PDF). Bank of Ghana. May 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  12. ^ Jerry, Afolabi (18 July 2018). "Feature: Why the local banks in Ghana are Collapsing". ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  13. ^ Gwahula, Raphael; Kingu, Peter; Macha, Salvio (2018). "Impact of Non-Performing Loans on Bank's Profitability: Empirical Evidence from Commercial Banks in Tanzania. International Journal of Scientific Research and Management". International Journal of Scientific Research and Management (IJSRM. 6 (1). doi:10.18535/ijsrm/v6i1.em11. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  14. ^ Klepkova Vodova, Pavla (January 2003). "CREDIT RISK AS A CAUSE OF BANKING CRISES". www.researchgate.net: 6. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  15. ^ Klepkova Vodova, Pavla (January 2003). "CREDIT RISK AS A CAUSE OF BANKING CRISES". www.researchgate.net: 6. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  16. ^ Klepkova Vodova, Pavla (January 2003). "CREDIT RISK AS A CAUSE OF BANKING CRISES". www.researchgate.net: 6. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  17. ^ Jerry, Afolabi (18 July 2018). "Feature: Why the local banks in Ghana are Collapsing". ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  18. ^ Safo, Amos (13 August 2018). "Poor corporate governance and the collapse of banks". thebftonline.com. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Tuesday, 17 April 2018 17:38 Preamble for the Legal and Regulatory framework". bog.gov.gh. Bank of Ghana. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  20. ^ Enoch Darfah, Frimpong (1 August 2018). "BoG collapses 5 banks into Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd". Graphic.com. Graphic Online. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ Stephenson, Patrick Kwabena (23 August 2018). "Why Bank of Ghana is 'complicit' in current banking crises". myjoyonline. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  22. ^ Stephenson, Patrick Kwabena (23 August 2018). "Why Bank of Ghana is 'complicit' in current banking crises". myjoyonline. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Former UT Bank employee launches book on why the bank collapsed". ghanaweb.com. www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  24. ^ Banker, Emmanuel Akrong (27 August 2017). "8 key questions on collapse of UT, Capital Bank (Article)". citifmonline.com. Citi FM Online. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Reasons for UT, Capital banks failure". graphic.com. graphic.com. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Former UT Bank employee launches book on why the bank collapsed". ghanaweb.com. www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  27. ^ Nyavor, George (10 August 2018). "UT Bank collapse: ¢30m loan for ¢1m collateral; MP cited". myjoyonline.com. myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  28. ^ "UT and Capital Bank takeover: A few clarifications for stakeholders". sikasem. sikasem. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  29. ^ Nyavor, George (16 August 2017). "Energy debts partly caused UT, Capital bank collapse – Casley-Hayford". myjoyonline. myjoyonline. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  30. ^ "How BoG's weak supervision resulted in Capital, UT Banks' collapse". citifmonline.com. citifmonline. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  31. ^ Boadi, Samuel (16 August 2018). "How Capital Bank Blew GH¢620m; The Inside Story". dailyguidenetwork.com. DailyGuideNetwork. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Mensa Otabil breaks silence on collapse of Capital Bank". Business Ghana. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  33. ^ "GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES NEW INDIGENOUS BANK; BANK OF GHANA REVOKES LICENCES OF FIVE BANKS AND APPOINTS RECEIVER IN RESPECT OF THEIR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES" (PDF). www.bog.gov.gh. Bank of Ghana. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  34. ^ Frimpong, Enoch Darfah (1 August 2018). "BoG collapses 5 banks into Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd". graphiconline.com. Graphic Online. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Video: What led to Construction Bank's closure". myjoyonline.com. myjoyonline. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  36. ^ "GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES NEW INDIGENOUS BANK; BANK OF GHANA REVOKES LICENCES OF FIVE BANKS AND APPOINTS RECEIVER IN RESPECT OF THEIR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES" (PDF). www.bog.gov.gh. Bank of Ghana. Retrieved 18 February 2019.