Republic Bank denies ex-Dep BoG Governor’s claims of buying troubled banks in Ghana

Republic Financial Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited have debunked claims that they committed to buying one or more of the five troubled banks during the banking sector cleanup.

Former Second Deputy Governor, Dr Johnson Asiamah

This response is coming after a former Deputy Governor of the central bank Dr Johnson Asiama alleged that Republic Bank was interested in acquiring then troubled UT and Capital banks before the 2016 election.

The bank in a press statement said Dr Asiama’s comment was both inaccurate and misleading.

“Republic Bank is committed to upholding the laws of the country and the regulations implemented by Ghana’s regulatory authorities – the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission – and should the opportunity arise for any acquisition or expansion in the future this will be done in conformity with such laws and regulations.”

In August 2017, the BoG revoked the licence of UT and Capital Banks. In August 2018, the central bank created the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG) to take over five struggling banks in the country.

The banks are Sovereign Bank, Royal Bank, The Beige Bank, Construction Bank, and Unibank. The BoG said the five banks had run into liquidity challenges.

Government also made available GH¢450m cedis available for the Consolidated Bank as starting capital and appointed Daniel Addo as its CEO.

Speaking to Accra-based Joy FM in 2019, Dr Asiama said “two or three months before the elections, we had a visit by officials of Republic Bank PLC, I think Republic Financial Holdings or so, their President came from Trinidad; a big delegation; they came to do a presentation to us where they told us that they were very big in all other continents and they wanted to expand on the African continent. And they had decided to use Ghana as a hub and so their idea was to purchase about five banks in Ghana and add these banks to HFC which they had bought at the time.”

“So when they do that, more or less it becomes like an organic growth; already they are so big, it is a hub and then they can now launch into Nigeria and into Sierra Leone, into the Gambia, etc., and so… I told the Governor this is the solution we were waiting for and so banks like Capital and these other people it was in my mind that worse case; we just give them to Republic Bank. In fact, at that meeting, they told us they wanted to start with two banks, that is, UT and Capital Bank and then after that, they add other 3 and so they said they wanted us to talk to Capital because when they acquired HFC bank, there was a lot of reputational issues,” he added.

But Republic Financial Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited has denied these claims.

Their statement explained that “Since acquiring a majority shareholding in HFC Bank (Ghana) Limited in 2015, now rebranded Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited, the Bank and its parent company, Republic Financial Holdings Limited have demonstrated their willingness to growing Ghana’s economy and assist in revolutionising its banking sector to benefit the people of Ghana as well as other stakeholders.”

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