The Bank of Ghana has said it appointed an advisor to the Sovereign Bank Limited in April 2018.
A statement issued by the governing bank on Friday, 4 May, said: “The Bank of Ghana did not previously publish notice of the appointment of the advisor, as it was done as part of its normal supervisory routine.
“Given the recent press reports on the bank, however, we find it necessary to release this press statement to clarify the issues on Sovereign Bank”, the statement said.
Sovereign Bank was licensed by the Bank of Ghana as a universal bank in January 2016.
As part of its supervisory functions, the Bank of Ghana completed an on-site examination of the bank in December 2017.
The outcome of the on-site examination revealed “some governance and capitalisation challenges which needed to be addressed”, the statement said.
The Bank of Ghana said it “has a range of powers under the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act of 2016 (Act 930) to take prompt remedial action to address supervisory concerns it identifies in a regulated institution. One of such powers is to appoint an advisor under section 101 (1) of Act 930 that will advise an institution’s management.
Consequently, and in accordance with section 101 (1) of Act 930, the Bank of Ghana said it “appointed an advisor in April 2018 to advise the management of Sovereign Bank Limited”.
The Advisor, the regulator said, “is expected to help monitor the bank’s recapitalisation efforts and implementation of governance reforms agreed with the Bank of Ghana. The Advisor will stay in the bank 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”.
“It is important to note that an advisor, unlike an official administrator, does not take over the powers, responsibilities, and duties of the bank’s shareholders, directors, or management. Under Act 930, the Advisor may attend meetings of the Board of Directors without voting at such meetings”.
The Bank of Ghana assured depositors and customers of Sovereign Bank Limited that “Sovereign Bank remains open for business under the control of the bank’s own management, and that customers’ deposits are safe”.
“The Bank of Ghana remains committed to promoting a strong and resilient banking sector that retains the trust and confidence of the general public”, the statement added.