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27.07.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana Commercial Bank In Serious Crisis

Chronicle
... as court orders seizure of bank's properties INDICATIONS ARE that, if serious measures are not taken immediately by management of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Limited to resolve a major crisis confronting it, activities of the bank may soon grind to a halt. The Bank is currently battling with an issue of having to pay a debt of over ¢100billion, being entitlements due to about 765 pensioners of the bank, who had judgment in their favour at the Court of Appeal about two years ago.
The headquarters of the nation's premiere bank on the High Street was yesterday, stormed by irate members of the pensioners association of the bank, accompanied by an auctioneer, bailiffs and security personnel, to execute the judgement given by the court on November 27, 2003 that they were entitlement to the sum of ¢104,613,420,117.16 with cost.
Items belonging to the GCB worth billions of cedis were seized by a court order so as to compel the bank to make payments on the pensioners' entitlements, which were due about twenty years ago.
Items that were red-taped by the bailiffs include two commercial generators, four Toyota Land Cruisers, Three Mercedez Benz Saloon Cars and a Toyota Pick-up.
After under-going the exercise on the premises of the headquarters of the Bank, the Bailiffs and the Auctioneer were locked up in negotiations with management of the bank for close to three hours, which became unsuccessful.
By the ruling of the Court of Appeal, GCB was to pay the GCB Pensioners Association all arrears of pension benefits at the rate of 70% of the basic and consolidated salary together with interest from January 1987 to December 31, 2002.
The court further ordered the GCB should pay the pensioners association their pension rights due for the end of January 2004 at the rate of 70% based on the consolidated salary.
The court orders followed a writ of summons filed against the GCB by its Pensioners' Association at the High court, claiming a declaration that they were entitled to their pension rights in accordance with the amendment decision that was arrived at by the Board of Directors of the Bank on February 27, 1987.
The plaintiffs further sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant bank from transferring any of its assets or changing its legal identity or ownership of itself by way of sale or divestiture in any form until their entitlements are paid and continue to be paid in accordance with the existing contractual arrangements in addition to damages for breach of contract.


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