Former workers of defunct domestic banks, Capital and UT, are rejecting claims that they pledged their End of Service Benefit (ESB) and Provident Fund (PF) for loans at the banks while working.
The former workers in a statement argued that the funds must be released to them since it is their personal contributions made through an arrangement for monthly deductions from their salaries.
“We would like to reiterate for the records that the PF and ESB were funds contributed from our own salaries on monthly basis. We the former staff of Capital Bank would like to put it on record that, we have not signed any such pledge form, neither was such a clause embedded in any loan offer letter to staff.”
The demand follows explanations from the Joint Receivers of the defunct banks, PricewaterHouseCoopers, that ex staff of UT and Capital Banks cannot access their ESB and Provident Fund since the Joint Receiver is working to first clear the liabilities of the defunct banks.
The Bank of Ghana in August 2017 revoked the licenses of the two banks, and allowed GCB Bank to take over their operations, because they could no longer survive by themselves.
The workers in a statement challenged the Joint Receivers to provide proof that they pledged their ESB and Provident Fund for loans.
The statement from the workers is below
JOINT STATEMENT BY FORMER WORKERS OF EX-CAPITAL BANK AND EX-UT BANK CORPORATE AND INSTITUTIONAL MIGHT VERSUS EMPLOYEE VULNERABILITY – THE CASE OF EX-UT BANK AND CAPITAL BANK WORKERS
On the 14th of August, 2017 we the former workers of the defunct UT and Capital Banks were hit with the shocking news that in line with section 123 of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), Bank of Ghana had revoked the licenses of our respective Banks due to severe impairment of capital and appointed MessrsVishAshiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah both Directors of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited as Joint Receivers for the purpose of winding down the affairs of the two Banks. GCB Bank was authorized by Bank of Ghana to take over the management of the defunct Banks under a Purchase and Assumption Agreement.
As a result of this action, the employees of Ex-Capital and Ex-UT Banks appointed UNICOF to negotiate an Exit Package on behalf of staff. As per the Joint Receivers’ letter dated 15th January, 2018, an agreement was reached with UNICOF to pay all staff of these defunct Banks an Exit Package.
As per the Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766), Ghana operates a three tiered pension scheme.
Tier 1 is made up of a mandatory monthly contribution of 13.5% of basic salary managed by SSNIT. Tier 2 is a mandatory contribution of 5% basic salary managed by a licensed Fund Manager. Tier 3 is an optional contribution also managed by licensed Fund Managers. Under Tier 3, ex-Capital Bank had two voluntary contributions termed as Provident Fund (PF) and End of Service Benefits (ESB).
It has been seven months since our banks were put under receivership butwe have not been paid ourExit Package. To aggravate our plight, it is shocking that majority of the former workers of defunct Capital Bank, especially those who were not absorbed by GCB Bank and are currently unemployed have not been paid their Provident Fund (PF), and End of Service Benefit (ESB) under the Tier 3 Pension scheme.
We will like to reiterate for the records that the PF and ESB were funds contributed from our own salaries on monthly basis.
As a result, we will like to take advantage to respond to the comment of the Receiver; VishAshiagbor – Country Senior Partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Citibusinessnews.com dated April 12, 2018 that our PF’s and ESB’s have not been paid because we pledged them against staff loans.
We the former staff of Ex-Capital Bank would like to put it on record that, we have not signed any such pledged form, neither was such a clause embedded in any loan offer letter to staff.
While the Purchase and Assumption Transaction was conducted to ensure that no single customer lost his or her deposit, the plight of the staff whose lives and livelihood were turned upside down overnight is deemed surplus to requirements. It seems that our financial, social and psychological well-being is irrelevant in the scheme of things and we have been left worse off through no fault of ours.
We believe that the public and relevant stakeholders will attest to the fact that we have been silent and patient for the past seven months with the hope that the relevant stakeholders would seek our supreme interest and give us our due to enable us cater for ourselves and our families.
We would like to emphasize that apart from the obvious financial loss and its attendant difficulties, we have suffered emotional losses, social losses and psychological losses due to the major embarrassment we have endured among our friends, families, societies in which we live and among our peers in other banks. Till date, we still have to answer questions and it feels that we are forever tagged with the stigma of collapsing our banks when in reality we cannot be faulted for any complicity.
The banking industry is a very stressful environment and an integral part of Ghana’s economy and we believe that despite the many years of our lives we have invested in the industry, we have just been thrown to the wolves with no one to speak for us.
Therefore, we will respectfully like to draw the attention of Government, Bank of Ghana, Parliament and relevant stakeholders that it seems the laws governing liquidation deserves a critical rethink because the current status leaves employees very vulnerable and dispensable. It’s basically a case of Institutional might versus employee vulnerability.
We will therefore like to make a personal appeal to;
- The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo;
- The Vice President of Ghana, His Excellency Alhaji Mahmoud Bawumia;
- The Honorable Minister of Finance; Ken Ofori-Atta;
- Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Phillip Addison;
- Joint Receivers;
- And other relevant stakeholders;
To intervene and ensure that our entitlements are paid to us.
Though it may not be enough to alleviate the psychological and social losses we have suffered, it will help alleviate our financial burdens.
For more information or interview opportunities, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact spokespersons of former workers of Ex-Capital Bank and UT Bank: