The Minority in Parliament says the ongoing debt exchange programme will not augur well for the banks in the country.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members’ spokesperson on Finance, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, said a minimum of five commercial banks will collapse over the exercise if care is not taken.
According to him, a chunk of the liquidity of these banks is locked up in government bonds and any attempts to postpone their payments will pose a great danger to their survival.
The former Deputy Finance Minister also predicted that a number of banks will also lay off staff and close some of their branches over the move.
“The banks will collapse. In fact, I project a minimum of five banks collapsing if this [debt exchange] goes ahead.
“Not only that, a number of banks will have to lay off staff and close some of their branches,” the Ajumako Enyan Essiam MP said in an interview with Citi FM.
The lawmaker also added that depositors will not be able to access their monies.
“The monies that banks have invested is not their money. It is depositors’ money, so there will be liquidity issues.
“When you go to the banks and ask for your money, there is a possibility that you won’t get your money,” he added.
The NDC MPs have already called for the immediate suspension of government’s debt exchange programme.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, January 16, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the programme as currently structured will worsen the plight of Ghanaians, hence the need for the President to put it on hold and consult some more.
“We in the NDC, the Minority group call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately suspend the ongoing debt exchange programme. It is already failing,” he stressed.