The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, has said that it was a tough decision for him to crack the whip on underperforming banks in the country.

He said that the decision has caused him and some of his staff to lose some of their lifetime friends.

He was speaking at the annual Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) luncheon after the BoG publicly withdrew the licences of the five banks on August 1, 2018.

The banks are the Royal bank, Beige bank, Unibank, Sovereign Bank Limited, and Construction Bank.

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Dr Addison said that the Managing Director of the Royal Bank Limited, Mr Osei Asafo-Adjei has been his friend for over 3 decades.

“You know the MD of Royal Bank has been my friend since we were mates at Cambridge,” he said.

“We used to drink beer on Friday nights. So, when this happened, I sent him a text message and said I hope you have not taken this personal. He is yet to respond,” Dr Addison added.

He, however, assured that the central bank will continue to take relevant decisions to help repose public confidence in the banks and strengthen the financial sector and the economy at large.

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The BoG approved a purchase and assumption (P&A) agreement for Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited to take over some assets and all liabilities of the five erstwhile banks under an arrangement that will cost the country some GH¢5.76 billion.

The Director of the Banking Supervision Department of the BoG, Mr Osei Gyasi, said: “management thought that was the best decision to take under the circumstances.”

Mr Gyasi admitted that it was not an easy decision but it was necessary for the strength of the entire financial sector.

“As a regulator, sometimes you are like a doctor and you know how doctors feel when their patients die, right?"

“That is how we feel; we are not happy but our work is to ensure that we have a vibrant and robust financial sector,” he added.