Capital Bank was insolvent & had many non-performing loans before collapse - Ato Essien tells court

The Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien has admitted before an Accra High Court that his bank was in crisis before the takeover by the Bank of Ghana.

William Ato Essien, CEO of defunct Capital Bank.

He told the court when his lawyer, Baffuor Gyau Ashia led him to testify and open his defence.

Mr. Ato Essien revealed that the defunct Capital Bank was bedevilled with several financial challenges, including the misapplication of a GH¢620 million liquidity support from the Bank of Ghana before their license was revoked.

He opined in court that Capital Bank was “below the capital adequacy ratio.”

Asked to explain what that meant, Mr. Essien said “as per the ratios from the Central Bank, we were insolvent.”

He was, however, quick to add that his bank would have survived if the BoG gave them time and space to make things right.

“...it is a normal occurrence” in the industry and would have been rectified with an “injection of more capital” into the bank; a”classification of non-performing loans”, and a recovery from the bad bank to income surplus”.

The embattled CEO also added that inadequacy in capital ratio was the only problem Capital Bank faced with respect to the Bank of Ghana.

Capital Bank was one of the banks that collapsed after the massive clean-up of financial institutions by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) starting in 2017.

Mr Essien and other accused persons have been variously charged with stealing, money laundering and conspiracy to steal.

The case has been adjourned to November 25.

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