The Finance Minister says the chaotic situation in the financial sector is not one of banking failure but rather individual failures.
Ken Ofori Atta whose ministry is coughing out ¢5.8 billion to rescue the insolvent banks says it is time for “social justice.”
According to him, the amount being used to save the banking sector could easily have gone into direct government policies like maternal health care or free SHS which would have been of direct benefit to the populace.
At least seven banks -Capital Bank, UT Bank, Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank, uniBank, Beige Bank and The Royal Bank- have gone under in the last 12 months with their directors becoming subjects of criminal investigations.
Capital and UT Banks were the first to go under in August 2017 and their assets taken over by GCB. After 12 months, five more banks were also liquidated and merged into the Consolidated Ghana Bank.
Some of the managers were deemed to have engaged in acts of criminality with a good of them found guilty of poor corporate governance practices.
Dozens of workers have lost their jobs, some their lives, with many others struggling to make ends meet, 12 months on.
There have been calls for the directors to be prosecuted to act as a deterrent to others, an assertion the Finance Minister agrees to.
He said tough decisions must be taken without issues of sentimentality.
“If I am going to have to spend 5.6 billion to bail out the banking system because I have to protect depositors, the question is not one of banking failure I need to be able to tell you that that managing director or that shareholder stole that money and it has to be very upfront because that is 5 billion that I am using as opposed to in SHS, school feeding or maternal pregnancy.
“The issue of sentiments is out of. It is not the issue of bank failure. It is the issue of individuals who have done something to bring us to this rather compromising position,” he said.