A group calling itself the Concerned Northerners Youth, has described as ‘evil’, the decision by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), to revoke the license Heritage Bank Limited.
The group, which has heavily defended the Bank and its majority shareholder, Seidu Agongo, who is standing trial in the Cocobod case, said the circumstances that led to the collapse of the bank smacks of nothing but tribal discrimination against people from the northern part of the country.
Last week, Heritage Bank’s license was revoked due to a suspicious stated capital, as well as their inability to meet the new 400 million minimum capital requirement, according to the Central Bank.
Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison also suggested that, the involvement of the bank’s majority shareholder, Seidu Agongo in the ongoing alleged fraudulent COCOBOD fertilizer contract trial, means he’s unfit to hold a banking license.
But in a statement issued by the group, the concerned youth indicated that they cannot fathom why the central bank decided to move against Heritage Bank although they had almost concluded on getting an investor to meet the minimum capital requirement.
“And what insult can one accept from a person like him except describing a fellow human being as not fit and proper? What is the crime of Mr. Agongo? That he was accused but not proven guilty? To avoid suspicion of the planned evil against the Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison made himself a law and declared that the majority shareholder Mr. Seidu Agongo’s involvement in a ‘criminal proceedings’ in court made him “not fit and proper” to own a Bank.”
“For the records, Heritage Bank met the minimum capital requirement without question. The source of its majority shares has been stated honestly as funds the majority holder; Mr. Seidu Agongo got from a contract he had with COCOBOD. Is it now a crime to make and invest money from contracts? Seidu Agongo never borrowed from his own Bank, there was no regulatory infractions by the Bank, the Bank has always complied with all regulations of the Bank of Ghana, does not launder money, has a strong balance sheet, very solvent with no liquidity issues, Why has it been treated this way? Where should its numerous staff go to feed?”
“The Bank of Ghana’s recent ‘clean up’ of the banking sector may have resembled a reasonable exercise worthy of praise, but some evil sins deliberately by the Bank against Heritage Bank which is not, and has not been insolvent is making nonsense of the real intention of the so-called clean up exercise.”
“Every reasonable Ghanaian should fear this dangerous precedence being championed by Bank of Ghana’s Dr. Ernest Addison. Not even the common sense dictum that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty has cautioned Dr. Ernest Addison to resist the pushing by his whimsical masters to let reason prevail.”
The group appealed to “civil society organisations, clergy, Chiefs, well meaning Ghanaians and stakeholders who are interested in a vibrant banking sector for Ghana and mean well for the economy, and worried about the unemployment canker threatening our security as a nation to appeal to the Bank of Ghana to rethink its decision of revoking the license of Heritage Bank.”
“Let’s all be guided by the remarks of the renowned Economist from the University of Cape Coast, Prof. John Gatsi that the action of the Bank of Ghana and Dr. Ernest Addison who have made themselves a law and declared Mr. Seidu Agongo not fit and proper to own a Bank; “unfair and a dangerous precedent”. Let’s watch it.”