Business transactions at UniBank Ghana’s branches in Accra proceeded with the usual normality on Wednesday as customers expressed their commitment to stand behind it in its challenging times. Meetings were held with staff across the branches in the morning following the announcement of the Bank of Ghana, on Tuesday, that the KPMG would take over the management of the Bank for the next six months to save it from insolvency.
Many customers that the GNA interviewed expressed optimism about the prospects of the Bank’s transformation after waiting patiently to be attended to when operations started at the scheduled 1200 hours.
At the head office at the World Trade Centre in Accra, a customer who only wanted to be identified as Jessica, told the GNA that when she heard the news about the Central Bank’s intervention, she was not worried because she believed her money was in safe hands.
“I had wanted to withdraw some money three days ago, but due to my busy schedule, I had to come today. I was attended to without any difficulty, everything went on very normal. I spent less than 10 minutes,” she said.
“When I came in someone told me to calm down and that the situation is under control. I was not really worried, though, because the owner of the Bank is a former Minister of Finance and we can go to him if any wrong doing arises, so I’m cool.”
She started transacting business with the Bank about six years ago and the Bank had been loyal to her and also had good customer service, she said.
Jessica urged other customers to support the new management to run the Bank since it was a Ghanaian-owned Bank and so citizens needed to rally behind them to succeed.
Another customer told the GNA: “Unibank is not DKM, we know the calibre of Dr Kwabena Duffour and where he lives. We will go there if anything untoward happens.”
He, however, expressed frustration about his inability to withdraw money before midday, saying he had run out of fuel from driving around in his attempt to cash money from the ATMs.
He said the Bank should have announced the time of opening in the message it sent over night about the new development in its affairs.
Other customers who had been to the banks earlier than midday also expressed disappointment.
But Customer George told the GNA that he was happy he could withdraw his money within five minutes, regardless of the issues.
The situation was similar at both the Makola and Okaishie branches. “In fact, when I got the information yesterday, I was not worried much because I know the owner of the Bank is an influential man with lots of investments and he can even compensate us when the need arises,” a customer at Makola stated.
The Bank of Ghana announced on Tuesday that it had appointed KPMG as official the administrator of UniBank to save it from imminent collapse.
It its statement, the Central Bank said Section 107 of Act 930 empowered it to appoint an Official Administrator to take official control of a bank when its capital adequacy ratio fell below 50 per cent of the required minimum of 10 per cent (i.e. below five per cent).
The statement said UniBank’s problems were part of the legacy issues in the financial sector attributed to weak economic growth and poor corporate governance and risk management practices.
The Bank is one of nine banks identified after the assets quality review exercise undertaken in 2016, to be significantly undercapitalised with a CAR of 4.75 per cent.