A former staff of the erstwhile Capital Bank, Mr. Philip Yawson, has shared a very sad tale of the woe that he, his colleagues and staff of the erstwhile UT Bank have gone through for several months. Speaking at the XYZ Business Forum that had as its topic, “A Multidimensional Analysis of Ghana’s Financial Sector”, Mr. Yawson held participants and attendees to the Forum spellbound with his vivid description of his experience ever since the Bank of Ghana announced the takeover of Capital Bank by GCB Bank in August, 2017.
So, on the morning of the 14th of August, 2017, Philip Yawson narrates, “I was on my way to a training program at the Ghana Banking College. Then a colleague of mine called me and asked me if I was listening to the radio. I asked my colleague why he was asking me that question and he only asked me to tune in to a particular radio station and I would understand. I quickly tuned in to the station indicated and as I heard the Presenter informing the whole nation that my employers, Capital Bank, had been absorbed by GCB Bank, I went numb. Here was I on my way to a training program to sharpen my knowledge in Banking Operations and like a bolt from the blue, I hear on the radio that my employers have collapsed!!! I went on to the training program and continued with the remaining three days of this particular training program not knowing what fate awaited me when I returned to my desk in Head Office operations”.As Yawson told his story, the pain on his face was vivid, the sadness in his voice made it sometimes almost inaudible; and the riveted audience was deathly silent.
In the words of Forum Moderator, Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe, “after a narration like what Philip Yawson just took us through, you can understand why there was barely any applause: But to honour his selflessness and courage in stepping forward to share his experience, I believe Phil deserves a resounding round of applause”. The participants at the Forum responded with alacrity and gave Phil a rousing applause.
In the wake of the collapse of Capital Bank and UT Bank, most of the commentaries and conversations have been around the Customers of the Banks, the Managers of the Bank and the Bank of Ghana. A couple of shareholders of both banks had come under heavy scrutiny with no known stern actions taken against them. Indeed, to a very large extent, some of the Shareholders of these two banks have largely been going about their other businesses with very little remorse or empathy being shown. In the midst of all these, virtually nothing has been heard about the staff of these two banks who have lost their jobs and sources of livelihood. It is this situation that compelled Philip Yawson, together with his former work colleagues, working in tandem with former employees of UT Bank, to come together to draw public attention to their plight.
Mr. Yawson described how barely three weeks after the 14th August, 2017 announcement of the takeover of Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana, layoffs of staff of Capital Bank started. He specifically stated that the layoffs started on 1st September, 2017. These layoffs continued all the way through the remainder of 2017 with the final batch of terminated staff being handed their termination letters on 31st January. 2018. Whereas staff had been assured of some security and due consideration in the immediate aftermath of the Bank of Ghana’s announcement, the reality on the ground was starkly different. Yawson stated that not a single staff had been paid any of the exit packages that had been duly negotiated with the Receiver who had managed the liquidation of the Bank. The story was similar for staff of UT Bank.
For these former staff of the two banks, the months since that fateful day in the middle of August 2017 have been extremely difficult. Phil Yawson narrated that he knew of one former staff who had resorted to using his vehicle for the Uber taxi service with majority of staff having no source of income. He contended that if the exit packages had been paid to them, they could, at least, have invested the funds in businesses that could cater for some, if not all of their needs, and allowed them some space to plan for the next phase of their lives. Unpaid school fees, unpaid home utility bills and inability to satisfy family obligations were some of the consequences of what Phil Yawson described as being the poor lot of staff who had given their all to their work and who had no clue of what was actually going on at the higher ranks of the banks. He wondered how staff could be so shabbily treated whilst those who had overseen these monumental collapses of the banks would be easily going about their other businesses and questioned the fairness of this development.
Asked if the staff had appealed to any quarters for their situation to be resolved, Phil Yawson said that they had petitioned the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and the Office of the President, all to no avail. He went on to say that they would not relent in their pursuit of their exit packages and appealed to other media houses to take up their cause and help them to get some badly needed relief.
Other Speakers at the XYZ Business Forum, Messrs Charles Mensah, Managing Partner at Trust Consult and Nii Ayikwei Tetteh, an experienced Auditor and Partner with CFY Partners, an Accounting firm, lamented the developments and called for swift action to be taken to alleviate the suffering of these former staff.
The XYZ Business Forum is an initiative of XYZ Broadcasting and seeks to pick on topical issues affecting the Ghanaian Economy and Industries and discuss them with the goal of generating solutions for identified challenges.