GCB Board Chair Clears Air On Loans

The Board Chairman of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Daniel Owiredu, has dismissed allegations making the rounds that he has been granting huge loans to companies and individuals without adequate collateral.
According to him, the allegations are false and designed to discredit the board.

Media reports suggest that the board, led by Daniel Owiredu together with two other officials from the bank, the Credit/Risk Manager and Head of Corporate have been granting ‘uncollateralized’ loans to cronies.

The reports said his action is increasing the bank’s risk of bad debts since several millions of the loans approved have little security or ‘uncollateralized.’

However, a statement signed by Mr. Owiredu who is also the chairman of the Credit Risk sub-committee said, “I wish to state categorically that these allegations are false and designed to discredit the board”.

He said GCB Bank as a listed company has followed strict procedures for all operations over the past several years and continues to do so.

“It is unfortunate that these media houses did not take the time to verify these machinations with GCB or the board before printing,” Mr. Wiredu said.

He said GCB is a publicly listed company and all documents are available for public scrutiny.

Mr. Owiredu said certain individuals are scheming to discredit the bank, stating, “The bank has achieved great recognition both in Ghana and internationally as one of the leading banks currently and it is unfortunate that certain individuals are scheming to discredit the bank for reasons which are difficult to understand.”

He said the bank has lodged a strong complaint with the National Media Commission regarding these falsehoods and “it is my hope that the potential negative impact on investor confidence and the bank’s reputation, image and share price will be considered before such misguided attempts at defamation are made.”

Mr. Wiredu said, “The bank has come a long way in revamping its operations and turning itself around and it will be very unfortunate if we allow all the hard work put in by its staff and management over the past several years to be eroded. Let’s be circumspect in protecting its image and reputation.”

However, the board chairman was silent on the allegation of chairing the GCB bank’s Credit Risk sub-committee for the approval of loans after which those loans approved come back to the board he presides over.

The chairman was accused of single-handedly taking decisions on loans with dire implications for the bank’s finances.