Angry staff of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) have raised alarms about how the Jude Arthur-led Board and the John Kofi Adomoko-led management of the bank have connived to with cronies to rob the bank of over GHC 440 million which has since been declared as bad loans.
The staff calling themselves “Concerned Staff of GCB Bank Limited” have written a scathing letter to the Board Chairman, Jude Arthur and have indicted him and the management for the misappropriation of depositors’ funds which has been written off as bad loans, as well as intimidation and corruption in the bank.
The group outlined some of the bad loans, including loans to a customer called Yaw Addo who was given some GHC 290 million believed to have been used for the political campaign of the opposition National Democratic Party (NDC).
Others whose loans have been written off as band loans by the GCB include, the Garden City Mall (GHC 138.96 million), Dannex Aryton drugs and Searwin, companies owned by Nick Amartefio, a GCB board member’s company. These companies owe the bank some GHC 15 million. In total, GCB has written off over GHC 443.96 million of loans advanced to these individuals and entities as bad loans.
They claim the management of the bank was able to pull off the racket because they are in an unholy alliance with auditing firm KPMG, which they deploy to “create, loot and share”. Already, KPMG’s reputation has taken a beating internationally for crooked accounting practices with the UK’s Financial Reporting Council finning the auditing firm a total of £20 million since 2018.
“We strongly request that comprehensive and independent investigations be conducted into how the bank’s profit for 2020 was arrived at,” the group charged in a petition.
In a May 5, 2021 letter written to the Chairman of the Board, the Concerned Staff wrote: “Chairman, you may continue to ignore us, but we remain committed in our resolve to expose various acts of wrongdoings in the Bank. We believe that your recalcitrance on these issues will end one day.”
The angry staff have also petitioned President Akufo Addo about the alleged mismanagement at GCB.
In their Petition to President Akufo Addo dated May 28, 2021, the staff wrote: “Sir, we have many issues, and have on many occasion written to seek redress both internally and externally. Some of the institutions we have written to are the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance…we cannot keep quiet and allow some board members and management to run down people’s investment as though there are no laws in this country.”
“We have observed with great concern the number of bad loans (both in values and volumes) created since the assumption of office of the Jude Arthur –led Board. It is very disturbing when a board chairman pushes for loans to be granted to a customer who has defaulted in paying the previous loan granted. Erduk Limited, a customer who defaulted in paying millions of Ghana cedis granted by GCB PLC was given another loan after a so-called KPMG business justification. As we write, both the first and the second loan have gone bad.”
According to the petition, these decisions, to add on to the already bad asset position, were single-handedly championed by Jude Arthur. “KPMG was paid thousands of dollars for undertaking this business decision analysis. We believe it was a cover-up done at the request of the board chairman,” the group alleged.
Meanwhile, GCB was categorized as buoyant when the Bank of Ghana and the Ken Ofori-Atta-led Finance Ministry staged a banking sector cleanup between 2017 and 2019.