From one Trouble to Another… GT Bank Sierra Leone In Deep Crisis
In the last few months, the Nigerian owned Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) has been on the spotlight for the wrong reasons following a hefty fine levied on the bank by Bank of Sierra Leone after being found wanting of breaching the Sierra Leone Banking Act of 2019.
It could be recalled that a little over a month ago, the Bank of Sierra Leone allegedly levied an eighty eight million Leones (Le, 88,000,000) fine on GTB for violating the Banking Act when it employed a certain staff to a managerial position at the bank without clearance from the Bank of Sierra Leone as required by law.
While it still remains unclear whether it has complied with the said fine, the bank is again faced with the prospect of another fine after allegations emerge that it has committed the same crime for which it was fined following the employment of another staff as Director of Internal Audit- a Statutory Position, without the necessary clearance from the Bank of Sierra Leone as demanded by the Banking Act of 2019.
These fresh allegations came following a letter written by a Civil Society Organization –League of Democracy Advocates, demanding the bank to produce the letter of clearance from the Bank of Sierra Leone for the said staff whose appointment to the said position according to LODA, does not only violates the Banking Act but also does not takes heed to the necessary academic criteria set out for such positions.
While the bank is still grappling to clear its name from this fresh scandal, another scandal is on the cards for subsequent edition and it suggests that the head of Human Resources at the Bank, who is alleged to have been working from home for over six months now with full salary, is also in similar predicament.
Whether GT Bank will be able to clear its name from these scandals that seem to have been hunting them in recent times is a matter of wait and see.
Although the Head of Public Relations at GTBank, Arthur Bockarie Kallon, told journalists that the issue at hand was for just one staff and that the fine of penalty against the bank by Central Bank will soon be addressed by the bank, sources close to the Bank of Sierra Leone have intimated this medium that another drastic action against GT Bank is inevitable.
From all indications, the bank seems to be in a worried state as sources close to the Bank of Sierra Leone also suggest that BSL is considering withdrawing the Banking License of GTB as a result of its continued violation of the Banking Act.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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