Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has commenced investigations into alleged corruption and corruption-related offences perpetrated by officials of Bank of Ghana, banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions and financial holding companies.
These institutions have been accused of corrupt-related offences during the banking and financial sector crisis.
In a press statement dated January 25, Mr Agyebeng noted that: “The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has commenced full investigations into the banking and financial sector crisis which precipitated the collapse of some banks and financial institutions and the financial sector clean up and recapitalisation reforms.”
To bolster investigations, the OSP has entreated members of the general public with knowledge of any corrupt activities carried out by any of the accused to lodge their complaints.
According to the Special Prosecutor, “all necessary and reasonable steps shall be taken to protect the safety and welfare of all informers, whistleblowers and witnesses.”
Meanwhile, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has given the assurance that any individual or institution found complicit will be arrested and prosecuted.
Financial sector clean up
In 2017, the Akufo-Addo-led government implemented the financial sector clean-up initiative to prevent the financial sector from collapsing.
This followed an asset quality review in 2015 and 2016 by the Bank of Ghana. The report noted that there were severe challenges with solvency, liquidity and asset quality in the country’s banking industry.
According to reports, about nine banks, 23 savings and loans companies, 386 microfinance companies and 53 fund management institutions were collapsed.
Many employees lost their jobs due to the financial sector clean-up.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia justified the government’s actions, insisting that the decision to clean the banking sector was painful but very necessary.
The Vice President, speaking at the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union’s 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) held last year likened the issue to cancer in the throat that needed to be cut off to avert further spread of the cancerous cells.
“We had a situation where you had cancer and it is in your throat and if you don’t cut it off, it’s gonna spread and we had to cut it off. “In the end, we saved the banking system and the bigger financial system and safeguarded the hard-earned lifetime investments of 4.6 million depositors many of whom are workers.
We would have had a collapse and this economy would not have recovered that easily if everybody lost their savings in the bank,” he said.