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25.03.2009 Business & Finance

Amal bank MD sacked

By Daily Guide
Amal bank MD sacked

Oluwale Ajumale, Managing Director of Amal Bank In what could be described as another big saga to hit corporate Ghana, Oluwale Ajumale, Managing Director of Amal Bank, has been asked to step aside as demanded by the Bank of Ghana.

But CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE investigations indicate that the man in the center of the controversy of breaching the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006, has been sacked.

The paper further learnt that most management members of the bank were dissatisfied with some of the MD's decisions and practices, as the board headed by Stephen Ata and management met at an emergency meeting yesterday.

According to the Banking Act, the Bank of Ghana has the power to disqualify any member of a board of a bank if in its opinion the person is unfit to be a member of the board.

Oluwale Ajumale is said to have among other breaches made and transferred foreign exchange cash payments into foreign currency accounts contrary to Bank of Ghana notices and made direct transfers of funds abroad in settlements of goods up to $25,000 without initial or subsequent documentation.

The Central Bank further expressed disgust over what it said in a report were three episodes of fake currencies deposited in the bank's vault and fake currency lodgment at the Bank of Ghana between late 2008 and 2009 though it had issued a warning to the MD in 2007.

It therefore issued a letter to the bank on March 3, 2008 to find an immediate replacement for the MD latest by March 10, saying that his conduct constitutes serious violations of the banking regulations and undermines the trust and confidence reserved for people in that position.

A statement released yesterday by Amal Bank, which is jointly owned by Ghanaians and Nigerians, appointed Menson C.D. Torkornoo, deputy Managing Director in charge of Operations and Administration as acting MD of the bank, tasking him to ensure that operational processes, procedures and practices of the bank are always in full compliance with banking regulations.

Meeky Enterprises, a majority shareholder of Oceanic Bank Plc of Nigeria has 49 percent share in Amal.

The statement signed by Godwyll Ansah, Company Secretary, assured customers, well-wishers and the public that the integrity of the operations, practices and procedures of the bank remained intact.

It explained that the bank has taken remedial actions to comply with the recommendations of the Bank of Ghana in respect of the infractions following the recent examination of the operations of the bank carried out by the Bank of Ghana.    

However, it added that the said infractions, although regrettable, do not in any way undermine the integrity of the operations of one of the fast growing banks in the country.  

Charles Ampofo, Corporate Affairs Manager, Amal Bank, yesterday told the media that it was not all the contents in the Central Bank's letter that were true as some portions have been blown out of proportion by the media.

Before his appointment as MD of Amal, Mr. Ajumale was the General Manager (International Banking) at Oceanic Bank International PLC of Nigeria where he was responsible for managing the bank's relationship with multilateral institutions as well as overseeing the establishment of the bank's offshore subsidiaries.

Amalgamated Bank Limited (AmalBank) was incorporated on May 29, 1997, under the Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) and licensed by the Bank of Ghana on December 13, 1999, to carry on with the business of merchant banking under the Banking Law 1989, PNDCL 225. It started operations on December 20, 1999.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah