Our plan would’ve saved most indigenous banks – Seth Terkper

Seth Terkper, Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper, Former Finance Minister

Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of 2013-2016 had an effective plan to deal with the banking sector crises.

This plan, he argues, would rather have saved most of the indigenous banks instead of collapsing them.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the licenses of seven indigenous banks between August 2017 and January 2019.

The BOG said these banks had been mismanaged, leaving depositors at the risk of losing savings. It, therefore, stepped in to save the situation.

Government has been criticised for opting to collapse the banks after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta revealed that it cost the taxpayer some ¢21 billion to ensure the safety of depositors funds.

The former Finance Minister Seth Terkper on Monday addressed a lecture organized by the NDC's Professionals Forum.

He argued that the NDC administration would have handled the situation differently.

Mr Terkper said the NDC administration undertook an asset quality review of the banks which gave it a sense of the state of the banks.

He admits some malfeasance was discovered, but the appropriate approach would have been to slowly sell the banks' assets while trying to keep most of the banks alive.

He further stated that the NPP government did not need to borrow to deal with the situation. He claimed the NDC government, through the Energy Sector Levy Act, left some ¢43 billion available to the government.

"I don't think we should accept this narrative that we left the current administration to go and borrow to resolve the banking sector crises. So what happened to 43 billion? Couldn't it be used to restructure?" Mr Terkper quizzed.

On the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, the former Minister said the pandemic cannot be blamed entirely for the state of affairs.

The former Minister insisted the current administration has received the most support for a crisis in the nation's history.

"IMF $1 billion, Bank of Ghana $1.7 billion, World Bank, African Development Bank and others put together $500 to $600 million and counting. A lot of resources have flowed, and so that is where we must dig deeper. Covid is painful, but a lot of resources has flowed."

Source: Myjoyonline.com