Banking cleanup: Ayariga punches GAT, says they took undue advantage of the banks

Bawku Central lawmaker, Mahama Ayariga, has accused the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) of taking undue advantage of some of the banks that needed financial help to enable them meet the new minimum capital requirement set by the Bank of Ghana during the banking sector cleanup exercise.

The GAT was founded by the Ghana Government based on a private equity model to support selected indigenous banks.

Its first mandate was to raise funds to recapitalize the selected indigenous banks that were unable to meet the new increased minimum capital requirement by the deadline set up by the BoG as part of the financial sector cleanup. As part of the recapitalization, GAT owns equity stakes in the banks that it has invested in.

But in a letter to the BoG, dated December 20, 2021, Mr Ayariga noted that the GAT is currently weakening the corporate governance structure in some of the existing banks.

This situation, he said requires the attention of the central bank.

“Recent events have necessitated the writing of this letter to your good office to bring some pertinent matters to your attention.

“These matters which have the tendency of adversely affecting the banking industry involves the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) and its relationship with the various banks it invested in sometime in 2019 to enable the banks meet the minimum capital requirement directive of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

“GAT engaged the various banks at some time in 2019 when the banks urgently needed capital injection to meet the new BoG recapitalisation requirement. Though some of the banks were, prior to the closing of the transactions, described as ‘solvent, well-governed and well managed’, these banks were forced by the circumstances of having to meet the BoG’s minimum capital requirement within the stipulated time frame  to accept the officer from GAT.

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“GAT knew the difficulty being faced by these banks and took undue advantage of them knowing full well and unbeknown to the banks how it intends to recover its equity investment in the banks,” he said.

He added “GAT have since the competition of the transaction engaged  in various negative acts that collectively seem to be geared towards weakening the corporate governance capacity of some of the banks thereby making them vulnerable within the financial sector.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana