BoG appoints advisor to monitor UMB’s recapitalization efforts

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has appointed Dr Joseph O. France as a Management Advisor to the Universal Merchant Bank Ltd. (UMB).

Dr. France is the Former Head of Financial Stability at the Bank of Ghana.

His role will involve advising UMB’s management, monitoring its recapitalization efforts, and overseeing governance reforms agreed upon with the Bank of Ghana.

The appointment is in accordance with section 101(1) of the Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).

He will be at post at UMB until otherwise advised by the Bank of Ghana and will furnish the Bank of Ghana with a status report on the bank as frequently as the Bank of Ghana may require.

While the advisor will provide regular status reports to the Bank of Ghana, it’s important to note that, unlike an Official Administrator, the advisor does not assume the powers, responsibilities, and duties of UMB’s shareholders, directors, or management.

The Bank of Ghana in a statement assured UMB’s depositors and customers that the bank remains open for business under the control of UMB’s management team.

“Under Act 930, the Advisor may attend meetings of the Board of Directors or Committees of the bank without voting at such meetings”, portions of the statement read.

Recapitalization

The Bank of Ghana gave banks up to the end of September 2023 to provide their recapitalization plans.

This was to ensure that banks whose capitals are below the minimum capital requirement quickly build it up to GH¢400 million as proposed by the Central Bank.

Currently, over half of the 23 banks in the country have fully recapitalized, as disclosed by Dr. Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana.

This indicates progress in meeting regulatory requirements and strengthening the financial stability of the banking industry as the 2025 deadline draws near.

The banks that haven’t fully met the capitalization requirements have made significant strides, meeting more than two-thirds of the required recapitalization over a three-year period.

This suggests a concerted effort within the banking sector to comply with regulatory standards and enhance their financial health.

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