President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Alhassan Andani, has called on all levels of workers and management people in the value chain of the banking sector, not to be the first to cry foul over job losses in the industry as far as the collapse of seven local banks is concerned, since they – the bankers themselves, from top to bottom – must take responsibility for what happened.
According to him, if bankers across the country had done their jobs well, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) would not have swallowed seven of them.
His comments come on the heels of reports that over 1,700 staff of Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG), will, by the end of September 2018, lose their jobs.
Out of the number, 700 are mobile bankers of now-defunct Beige Bank, while 1,000 are former employees of the Royal Bank, the Construction Bank, uniBank and Sovereign Bank.
Bank of Ghana recently fused uniBank together with Sovereign Bank, the Royal Bank, the Beige Bank and the Construction Bank to form CBG.
The fusion of the five banks follows the takeover of two other local banks: UT Bank and Capital Bank, by GCB Bank in August 2017 with the blessing of the regulator after it emerged that they were in dire straits.
In total, seven local banks have gone under, as the Bank of Ghana’s 31 December 2018 deadline for all universal banks to recapitalise from the GHS120 million to GHS400 million draws closer.
Speaking in an interview in Accra yesterday, Mr Andani said: “I’ll tell my colleagues who are currently facing these job losses to stand together with the industry first of all to establish the credibility the financial sector stands for and not immediately join the fray in terms of their specific losses.
“We are a bank and the society [had confidence in us] and allows us to do a lot of things and if we as a collective – workers, shareholders, directors – let the system down, we should not be the first crying about what will happen to our jobs. If we did our jobs well, and I’m speaking for all the bank workers in Ghana, we’ll not be where we are.
“So, I’m not saying we will not lose jobs, we’ll lose jobs but at the moment, I’ll like every one of us to stand behind what is happening and ensure that we establish the honour and trust and confidence that people should be having in banks and thereafter, we’ll see how we deal with jobs”.
“The first losers will be the taxpayers who have had to be called in to bail out depositors and other commitments that the banks have made… so, once our stewardship wasn’t the very best resulting into this, we should hold on and ensure that the right thing is done before we throw our issues into the fray. So, I call on my colleagues to show the honour and respect that bankers often enjoy and help this situation out and thereafter we will find how things settle down,” he added.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org