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Seidu Agongo Replies BoG   
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Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of BoG
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Seidu Agongo, the majority shareholder in the erstwhile Heritage Bank Limited (HBL), has criticized the Central Bank for declaring him not ‘fit and proper’ to continue to be a significant shareholder of HBL.

Mr. Agongo, in a release issued on Monday in Accra, disclosed that in all dealings with the Central Bank, at no point in time did the Central Bank indicate to him or Board of Directors that it had concerns regarding his role as a significant shareholder or shareholder for that matter of HBL.

“Indeed, in all our interactions, both official and unofficial, I walked away with the impression that the Central Bank held me in high regard as a shareholder of HBL, as I had dealt openly and transparently with the Central Bank and its principal officers in all matters concerning the affairs of HBL.”

He continued: “Up until the press conference where the announcement was made, the Central Bank made promises to me, and HBL through its directors and officers regarding the future prospects of HBL and its continued existence as a banking concern.”

Mr. Agongo averred that besides the rather cursory reference to being the subject of pending criminal proceedings and the Central Bank’s suspicion that the sources of funds for the capitalization of HBL might have been derived from the proceeds of contracts executed with COCOBOD, the Central Bank has to date not made available to him the factual basis on which it concluded that he was not fit and proper to be a significant shareholder of HBL.

“As at the time of this statement and the time of the Governor’s press conference, there had been no determination either by the High Court nor any other authority for that matter that the funds derived from contracts with COCOBOD are in any manner or form illegal or criminal, warranting my characterization by the Central Bank as not fit and proper.”

He continued: “Will the Central Bank restore the banking licence of HBL if I were to be acquitted of the current charges? The utter irrationality of the action of the Central Bank in revoking the licence of HBL on the basis of pending criminal proceedings and the fact that the harm done to HBL and its stakeholders may ultimately be irreparable is palpable.”

The majority shareholder said since 2001 he founded about 15 entities in real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, media, commodities, pharmaceuticals and financial services that directly employ at least 3,500 Ghanaians currently.

According to him, he engaged in no underhand dealings in the establishment of Heritage Bank Limited.
Source: Daily Guide

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