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uniBank shareholders criticise BoG; cite KPMG for ‘conflict of interest’

Shareholders of defunct uniBank have cited KPMG for allegedly engaging in a conflict of interest arrangement with the banking regulator, Bank of Ghana (BoG).

In a statement issued on Monday, August 20, 2018, the Shareholders state: “The recent appointment of KPMG as the Receiver in respect of some assets of uniBank and four other banks shows KPMG seeking to benefit from the report that it provided to the Bank of Ghana through a further paid engagement, a clear conflict of interest situation which does not put KPMG in a good light.”

The BoG on August 1, 2018, announced the revocation of universal banking licences of five banks and subsequently created the Consolidated Bank to take over selected assets and liabilities of the five institutions. The banks are the uniBank, Construction, Royal, BEIGE, and Sovereign Banks.

The stern action by the central bank, according to the Governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, has the overarching goal of strengthening the financial system in order to protect the interests of depositors.

Related: Gov’t, Finatrade caused our collapse – Royal Bank shareholders

The Governor listed “legacy problems including macroeconomic factors, poor corporate governance and risk management practices, related party transactions that were not above board, regulatory non-compliance, and poor supervision, (questionable licensing processes and weak enforcement) leading to a significant build-up of vulnerabilities in the sector” as the underlying factors for the revocations.

However, in what is the first public statement from the indigenous bank since the revocation of the licence, the shareholders of uniBank criticised the BoG for failing to provide them a copy of a report purporting to be authored by the international audit firm, KPMG, on the Financial Condition and Future Prospects of uniBank Ghana although the same document has found its way to the media.

They Shareholders allege that although they requested for a copy of the report, the BoG denied flatly them a copy of the document.

“No reason was assigned for the refusal to provide the report which the Shareholders had requested in a letter dated the 3rd of August 2018,” the Shareholders stated.

Unibank facts3

The Shareholders say, “It is unacceptable for the Bank of Ghana and KPMG to deny Shareholders access to the report, even as material in the report is being widely disseminated to discredit uniBank and instigate public contempt and opprobrium against uniBank. No opportunity has been provided to the Shareholders of uniBank to respond to any purported findings of KPMG and yet they are being tried by the court of public opinion without the full facts of the case.”

Unibank facts1

Read the full statement from the Shareholders below.

SHAREHOLDERS OF uniBank (GHANA) LIMITED

P.O.BOX AN 15084

ACCRA-NORTH

The Shareholders of uniBank observe with great concern that a report purporting to be the KPMG Report on the Financial Condition and Future Prospects of uniBank Ghana is being disseminated in the media, even though on the 13th of August 2018, the Shareholders received a letter from the Secretary of the Bank of Ghana, stating that the Bank “is unable, at this time, to make available to you a copy of the Official Administrator’s Report on the bank”. No reason was assigned for the refusal to provide the report which the Shareholders had requested in a letter dated the 3rd of August 2018.

It is unacceptable for the Bank of Ghana and KPMG to deny Shareholders access to the report, even as material in the report is being widely disseminated to discredit uniBank and instigate public contempt and opprobrium against uniBank. No opportunity has been provided to the Shareholders of uniBank to respond to any purported findings of KPMG and yet they are being tried by the court of public opinion without the full facts of the case.

We note that in the purported Report it is stated that the said Report should not be made available or communicated to any party without the prior written consent of KPMG. There is a further statement by KPMG that “we have not sought to verify information contained herein…accordingly we are unable to determine the extent to which information and explanations provided to us are complete and accurate and the report should be read in that context.”

The recent appointment of KPMG as the Receiver in respect of some assets of uniBank and four other banks shows KPMG seeking to benefit from the report that it provided to the Bank of Ghana through a further paid engagement, a clear conflict of interest situation which does not put KPMG in a good light.

The Shareholders intend to ensure that the Bank of Ghana provides them with an official copy of the Report so as to enable them to address the contents of the report.

SIGNED

SHAREHOLDERS OF UNIBANK GHANA LIMITED.

 

 

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