Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, John Awuah, says banks were not forced or coerced into signing onto the domestic debt exchange programme.
According to him, the process was entirely voluntary and banks had the free will to decide whether or not they were going to sign on or not.
John Awuah was explaining why banks had recorded significant losses in the first quarter of the year.
He stated that while the losses were largely as a result of the DDEP, the banks had already anticipated the losses.
He said banks had made the difficult decision to sign onto the DDEP to protect the economy from total collapse.
John Awuah noted that comments that the banks were coerced to sign onto the DDEP are untrue as banks are autonomous entities with the ability to make decisions for themselves.
“In the end right from beginning, it was clear that it was a voluntary programme. So nobody can whip anybody. The banks are autonomous; they are regulated by the Bank of Ghana, the Bank of Ghana does not take decisions for the banks.
“I think that point must be made very clear; that the banks are very autonomous, even the association cannot compel any bank to take a decision as to whether to accept or not to accept. These are individual bank decisions so long as the overall framework was agreed banks then have to go through their own internal processes to ensure that they do the right thing governance-wise and also to be consistent with what we all agreed to pursue,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition.
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