Perhaps tired of being a Savings and Loans company after three years, ambitious shareholders of First Capital Plus planned to become a bank but they needed ¢60m.
It has turned out they did not need ¢60m, they needed the BoG to just look the other way. And in December 2013, they did.
According to an exclusive report, the central bank was either complacent or complicit when shareholders of First Capital Savings and Loans company were awarded a provisional licence in July 2013 and a full licence later in December 2013.
Capital Bank shareholders had only ¢23.3m – less than 50% of the ¢60m capital requirement. In their defence, they also produced evidence to show they had ¢51.5m illiquid investment – basically money that you can see but cannot touch.
They could sell of these liquid investments and get more than they needed to meet regulations.
A convinced BoG headed by Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah granted them a provisional licence with clear instructions to find the additional ¢36.7m and lodge it in “an escrow account which should be verified by the Bank of Ghana.”
But on D-Day of obtaining a final approval to operate as a bank, Capital bank shareholders showed they had put their monies in other financial institutions and not the escrow account they were directed to open.
In essence, they showed to BoG, they had the money but BoG never saw the money. Somehow BoG was satisfied with this explanation which their regulations does not allow it to be satisfied with and granted Capital Bank a final licence.