ADB dismisses uniBank takeover report

ADB dismisses uniBank takeover reportThe management of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) has dismissed reports claiming that uniBank has taken over 51 percent shares.

Reports indicate that uniBank has taken over the ADB.

Clifford Mettle, Executive Director of uniBank, said the bank’s acquisition of 51 percent shares in the ADB is a strategic alignment.

According to him, the services the two banks were already rendering to customers will not change following the takeover.

“ADB will continue to focus on its agriculture development policies and we at uniBank will also continue to focus on our SME policies,” Mr Mettle told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on March 7.

But a statement signed by the Board Chair of the ADB on Wednesday few hours after the announcement was made by uniBank, said: “We refer to the news item on both electronic and print media regarding a purported takeover of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited by Unibank and wish to strongly deny any takeover of the bank.

“The Bank has received letters from Belstar Capital Limited, EDC Limited and Starmount Investment Limited having pledged their various shares in the Agricultural Development Bank Limited to Unibank. It is the opinion of ADB that, a pledge does not have the effect of the transfer of ownership. Thus if the shareholders mentioned herein have pledged their shares together with any benefits or privileges attached thereto that will not have the effect of making uniBank a shareholder of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited or constitute a takeover of the Bank.

Indeed, in accordance with the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930), ‘… a person shall not without the prior approval in writing of Bank of Ghana enter into an agreement or arrangement which will result in the change in control of a bank, specialised deposit-taking institutions or financial holding company’.

The Act continues that, for the purpose of share acquisition in financial institutions, the Bank of Ghana must grant approval of share acquisitions of five, ten, thirty, fifty or seventy-five percent of equity thresholds.

“In a statement made by the Governor of Bank of Ghana during the commissioning of the Ecobank Head office in Accra, on 7th March, 2018; he emphatically denounced as null and void the purported takeover of ADB.

ADB is also in discussion with the Ghana Stock Exchange to restore trading on the Exchange.

“We therefore wish to assure the Bank’s numerous customers and the general public that the shareholding of the Bank remains unchanged and customers accounts and investments are adequately protected. Customers are particularly advised to go about their normal transactions with the Bank.”

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