Ghana Charges CEOs Over Banking Crisis That Cost $2.2 Billion

Ghanaian prosecutors charged the chief executive officers of two defunct lenders for alleged crimes that contributed to a banking crisis that cost the West African nation 12.5-billion cedis ($2.2 billion) in bailouts.

Michael Nyinaku, the former CEO of Beige Bank Ltd., appeared in the Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday on counts of stealing 341 million cedis and money laundering, court documents showed. Prince Kofi Amoabeng, who founded UT Bank Ltd., appeared for money laundering as well as theft charges of 51.3 million cedis and $8.6 million, according to a separate court filing.

Both men have previously denied any wrongdoing.

The scale of Ghana’s banking crisis came to the fore when the central bank started an industry cleanup in August 2017 to remedy years of poor governance and weak regulatory oversight. It left the government with little choice but to safeguard the savings of about 4.6 million depositors with public funds and protect jobs at insolvent banks and scores of second-tier lenders.

“We have begun bringing those responsible for the banking crisis to justice,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a post on Twitter. “The perpetrators of the crises, i.e. both regulators and individuals, will face justice soon.”

Source: Bloomberg

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