Ghanaians have been declaring who they ‘stand with’ following the collapse of five local banks this month.
The declaration with the hashtag ‘IStandWith’ has been flooding social media platforms following calls for owners of the collapsed banks to be punished
The social media craze signals how divided Ghanaians are about who is to blame for the crisis in the banking sector.
There are major personalities at the center of the collapse of these banks. Some have huge followers and calling for prosecution of them is stirring division among the populace.
Background to the banks’ collapse
Early this month Ghana’s central bank decided to form a new indigenous bank called the Consolidated Bank.
It follows the collapse of five struggling local banks and their eventually merger to protect the deposits of customers.
The Bank of Ghana says it made the announcement as it acts against banks struggling to meet its minimum capital requirement policy.
Ghana’s Central Bank has set minimum capital requirement for banks at $83 million (GH¢400 million).
The banks that have been affected are Royal Bank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, The construction Bank and Unibank.
What does the merger mean?
A statement from the Bank of Ghana said it has “revoked the licences of uniBank Ghana Limited, The Royal Bank Limited, Beige Bank Limited, Sovereign Bank Limited, and Construction Bank Limited”
“All deposits of the five banks are safe and have been transferred to the Consolidated Bank.
Customers can carry out their business as usual at their respective banks which will now become branches of the Consolidated Bank,” the statement explained.
Revamping the banking sector
The new merged bank is to receive financial support from the government to remain viable.
Many local banks are reported to be struggling remain viable endangering the deposits of customers.
The central bank said in its statement that “Ghana needs a strong and stable banking sector to drive the process of economic transformation.
A weak banking sector means that access to credit will be limited while lending rates will continue to be high.”
Punishing those responsible
The thorny issue in Ghana has been who should be held responsible for the collapse of the five local banks.
Many Ghanaians have called for prosecution of directors, board chairmen and owners of the local banks.
They accuse them of mismanaging the institutions and putting the economy in danger.
One of the collapsed banks that has gained prominence is Capital bank whose chairman is a renowned preacher, Dr. Mensa Otabil.
Details of a report following a probe into the banks activities showed series of mishandling of the bank’s resources.
Mensa Otabil who also heads the International Central Gospel Church came under severe criticisms with some calling for his arrest and prosecution.
His church came to his rescue issuing a statement to declare support for their pastor.
Who do you stand with?
The church said its head pastor was still a man of integrity and they ‘stand with’ him.
But not everyone stands by the preacher man and those responsible for the collapse of the banks.
Ghanaians have been declaring where they stand on social media.
If this is what Pastor Mensa Otabil and his friends did in a bank with a Class 1 license in a regulated industry, we can only imagine what they’re doing in a church where they account to no one.
— Nana Ama A. Asante (@JustNanaAma) August 10, 2018
WOYOME CHOP 51.2 million cedis of tax payers money(you and I our money.)
Ghana ppl: 😡🧐🔥☄️💥🏋🏿♂️🤺⚔️🔩⛏🛠🔨💣🔪🔥😡😡😡🔩
OTABIL and co mismanage and chop 610 million cedis of tax payers money( you and I our money)
Ghana ppl: touch not my Annoited 🤗🤫🤐🙏🏿🙏🏿
— ZO (@illtodeath) August 10, 2018
These people have convinced themselves that this is a witch hunt on Otabil and his church. There’s been mismanagement of funds and the collapse of two banks, and people are asking for transparency and accountability, and for justice to be served. How is that victimization?
— Lexis (@niilexis) August 11, 2018
A colleague of mine posted this I stand with Otabil thing. I asked her if she knew exactly why they were bashing him. She said she didn’t know but anything they are saying about him can’t be true because he’s a man of God. That is when I realized issolllvvvaaaaa
— Shenanigans 💅🏾 (@maakumi) August 11, 2018
Mensah Otabil and his bank misued people’s money and he will be here tweeting motivational messages…
— F. Nero (@fuji_nero) August 10, 2018