17 banks at risk of collapse due to debt exchange programme — Ato Forson

The Minority leader in Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has warned that 17 banks in the country are at risk as a result of the government's domestic debt exchange programme.

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and Ken Ofori-Atta

According to him, the programme will rather shift the bankruptcy of the government to individuals and financial institutions, particularly banks.

His warning comes after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was summoned to brief Parliament on the ongoing picketing at the Finance Ministry by pensioner bondholders for an exemption from the debt exchange programme.

Ato Forson debating the programme on the floor of Parliament said it will impoverish Ghanaians and cripple some banks.

"17 banks in the country are at risk as a result of the domestic debt exchange programme," he noted.


Ofori-Atta addressing Parliament confirmed that all pensioners who failed to tender their old bonds for new ones under the programme have been exempted.

He stressed that the pensioners have nothing to worry about adding that all their coupons and principals will be honoured when maturity is due.

He disclosed that despite stiff opposition from Ghanaians, the programme has been successful as over 1,300 pensioners and individual bondholders have willfully subscribed to it.

Ofori-Atta also revealed that it has successfully swapped GH¢‎82,994,510,128 worth of old bonds from a possible GH¢97,749,624,691 under the programme.

This he said represents an 84.91 percent success rate exceeding its intended target of an 80 percent participation rate.


But the Speaker of Parliament has asked Ofori-Atta not to touch monies belonging to pensioners.

He said the current economic crisis can be solved without the funds of the pensioner.

"…what I can tell you is that leave our pensioners alone. You can solve the problem without touching their small money," Bagbin said.

However, Ofori-Atta has urged the MPs to support the government in getting the board approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ensure economic stability adding that an IMF deal with help Ghana recovers quickly from the economic challenges.


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