By Portia Addo/Irene Estelle Akrong, GNA
Accra, Sept. 13, GNA – Mr Solomon Kortei, General Secretary of Industrial and Commercial workers Union (ICU), has urged Ghanaians to continue to save their monies at their various local commercial banks to increase development in Ghana.
The ICU General Secretary said, “we must support the local banks to overcome the obstacles, if we withdraw from the services of the local banks we would be hitting the last nail to their coffin”.
He however expressed concern about the manner, the Bank of Ghana carried out the process of liquidating the five banks, which had brought fear and panic to the investor community.
The ICU General Secretary said the fear has resulted in panic withdrawal, internally and externally and one can say with certainty that people are now keeping more money on them rather than saving at the bank especially with what happened to UT Bank and Capital Bank last year.
Mr Kortei in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the banking crises explained that now people are beginning to question the security of the banking sector, “what if tomorrow we go to our bank and it is also closed down.
“There is also suspicion that there are more banks to go even though I cannot point out the various banks. We have actually reduced the confidence level in the banking sector”.
Mr Kortei noted that, “It was obvious that if you are bringing five banks that were formed on different philosophies together to form a consolidated bank, you create a problem merger of different business cultures within a short period.
“The new management through the consolidated bank cannot carry out the principles, dreams and visions from the five different banking cultures, we are concern with the job losses.
“We cannot be the ostriches that we are not too clear of what is going to happen. We are expecting that after announcing that 93 branches are going maintained, some the staffs are going to suffer”.
Tracing the genesis of the current banking crises, Mr Kortei said the woes of the banks started ever since the Bank of Ghana decided to raise the minimum capital to GHC400, 000,000.00.
He said analytical study of the environment reveals that the foreign banks are not struggling and experiencing the challenges of raising the minimum capital which the local banks are going through because they have the support of their parent banks from their home country.
“We are not even sure of the number of the local commercial banks who would survive at the end of the exercise.
Mr Kortei urged the Bank of Ghana to go ahead to find out all those whose acts of omission and commission contributed to the collapse of the five banks, “we should begin to interrogate whether proper due diligence was conducted during the process of setting up those banks and others currently operating”.