UT Group lost its vision- Amoabeng admits

The former Managing Director of UT Bank has admitted his outfit lost its vision which partly led to the collapse of the UT Bank.

Prince Kofi Amoabeng in a foreword to a book written by Samuel Otchere, a former UT Bank staff also blamed what he describes as “diverse cultures from different banks” for the challenges that led to the Bank’s collapse.

“The UT family started with one of the strongest corporate cultures based on sound values including respect for all, integrity, professionalism, stepping up to the plate and Ubuntu,” he said in ‘Fate of System Thinking: Lessons for decision optimization – stories from UT, Capital and Unibank’.

UT Bank is one of seven local banks dissolved by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for various reasons including insolvency.

The Central Bank revoked the license of two commercial banks – UT Bank and Capital Bank in August last year.

There are fresh revelations by BoG detailing what auditors term “willful deceit” on the part of shareholders and directors of defunct UT Banks.

A 2014 Bank of Ghana (BoG) Examination and Inspection Report by Boulders and Advisors Limited found that there was a significant amount of inter-group lending within the bank.

This was after a review of two forms of related party transactions; first was loans granted to individuals and companies related to the bank and loans granted to companies connected to one another by ownership and directorship but unrelated to the bank group.

The action was triggered by the inability of the two banks to turn around their negative capital adequacy position which has lingered on for some time now.

BoG said the action has been taken against the affected banks due to their “terrible” financial situation and their inability to perform within the banking industry.

Although it is a fact that liquidity crisis and bad loans resulted in the collapse of UT Bank, the former President of UT Group said those were only symptoms of what had gone wrong with the bank.

“The rapid growth and expansion into a bank and the influx of top bankers with diverse cultures, different from that of UT was a major cause of the problem that resulted in high nonperforming loans and liquidity crisis.

“Also contributing to the crisis is the loss of the group’s vision as a result of rapid expansion and growth,” he added.

According to the writer of the book, UT Banks collapse comes down to a failure at heart to appreciate what banking was and is all about.

“There was a problem with the philosophy to provide quick loans instead of being an investment bank or equity firm,” he added.

The book Fate of System Thinking: Lessons for Decision Optimization; Stories from UT Bank, Capital Bank and uniBank, launches tomorrow at the Speaker Hub office in Accra.

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