14 December 2012

Ghana: BOG Completes Probe Into Operations of Ahantaman Bank

Takoradi — THE Bank of Ghana (BOG) has completed full scale investigation into the fraudulent allegations levelled by the shareholders of the Ahantaman Rural Bank (ARB) against the Board of Directors and management of the bank, over how the latter lost a whopping GH¢ 300,000.00 among other undisclosed sum of monies.

The allegation nearly marred the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the rural bank, on July 28, this year, but for the quick intervention of a BOG official.

The shareholders of ARB had raised issues with the Board and management of the bank concerning how the bank lost a whopping sum of GH¢300, 000 and flouted the BOG directive against rural banks engaging in foreign exchange transactions.

The board and management's inability to provide immediate answers to the queries led to the suspension of the AGM. As a result of the suspension of the said AGM, the rural bank was unable to replace three Board Members whose tenure of office had expired

The BOG official who presided over the AGM then pledged to carry out full scale investigations into the allegation raised by the shareholders in their statement. Interestingly, the BOG has completed its investigations into the allegations and consequently fixed the 14th of December as the date to discuss the findings of the report.

The BOG in a letter dated the 22nd of November and headlined 'Findings of Investigations Into Allegations', the BOG pointed out that the investigations report contained some issues that bordered on customer confidentiality and individuals right.

As a result, it would be unethical for the BOG to disclose the findings of it investigations to the shareholders of the bank. Consequently, the BOG in a letter copied to the shareholders and signed by one Phillip E. Cobbinah, for Head of Banking Supervision Department, urged the shareholders to meet the this week Saturday for discussion on the findings.

'In order to ensure transparency as well as protect the rights of customers and persons mentioned in your allegations as well as the image of the bank, a team from the Bank of Ghana would meet with your good selves to discuss the investigation findings on Friday, 14th December 2012 at 10am at the Board Room of Ahantaman Rural Bank'

The letter continued, 'we hope you will bring this information to the shareholders who signed the petition'.

Meanwhile, the concerned Shareholders of the bank have petitioned the Chief Executive Officer of the ARB about the "Board tactics to adopt illegal means to prevent shareholders who have not bought a certain level of shares to be elected as Board Members at the forthcoming Extra Ordinary Shareholders Meeting on the 14th of December.

In a letter signed by 14 shareholders of the ARB, it warned that 'any attempt to impose that illegal policy and also insist on poll voting at the meeting will be resisted with all "the force at our disposal. This Extra Ordinary Shareholders Meeting is a continuation of the last AGM and that the Board Members must desist from provoking e us'.

The petitioners which included Dr. Kofi Sutherland, Medical Director of Agona-Nkwanta Government Hospital, Samuel Kangah, a Trade Unionist, copied the Head of Banking, BOG, Apex Rural Bank, among others. The Chronicle can report that the bank has decided not to invite press men to cover the event and as well blocked yours truly from entering the venue of the meeting for coverage.

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