Skip to main content

SSNIT to remove HFC board members

Two independent members of the Board of Directors of HFC Bank have charged the bank to take appropriate actions with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on allegations of ‘insider trading’ by the Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT), before the process of a mandatory takeover of HFC Bank proceeds.
According to them, this is to forestall any possible legal action against the directors of the bank on their duty of care and due diligence, because ‘insider trading’ is a criminal offence.
Mrs. Muriel Edusei and Mr. Francis Koranteng, the two non-executive independent directors whose removal from the board of HFC Bank is being pursued by SSNIT, raised the above concern in separate statements over the weekend.
The statements were occasioned by a letter signed by the Director General of SSNIT, Mr. Ernest Thompson and addressed to the Board Chairman of HFC Bank last October, expressing apprehension about the composition of the board.
Subsequently, SSNIT has requisitioned for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the bank to be held on Tuesday January 20, 2015 to remove and replace the directors.
According to the statements, the EGM has been necessitated by the desire of SSNIT and Republic Bank to have Prof. Joshua Alabi, the SSNIT appointee, who also happens to be the chairman of the SSNIT board, appointed as chairman of the HFC Bank board; a position not backed by any law or the HFC Company regulations.
They noted that even though appointees of SSNIT had been on the board of HFC Bank since its inception, SSNIT did not appear to have had any problem with the composition of the board until a few months ago. Yet, no reason was assigned for the removal of the two directors, even though they deny any wrong doing, the statements noted.
They have therefore challenged SSNIT to tell the shareholders of the bank what aspects of the directors’ duties and responsibilities had been breached to necessitate their removal.
“It is the right of shareholders to appoint and remove Directors. This right is unfortunately being abused by SSNIT. It is also the right of a Director, especially an independent Director, to dissociate him/herself from actions by any shareholders which could lead to criminal liability for the Director.
“As you are well aware it does not lie within the powers of the Board to remove directors appointed by you, shareholders”.
They claimed the move by SSNIT sought to prevent further requests for investigations into the alleged ‘insider trading’ against RBTT.
The statements explained that because directors carry civil and criminal liability for false statements, there was the need to be cautious, and ensure that the allegation of ‘insider trading’ by Republic Bank was fully investigated and resolved.
They said while the Republic Bank was desperate not to have the insider trading allegation against them investigated, their moves, with the collaboration of SSNIT, to remove the two directors from the board was “indeed puzzling”.
“This ‘sword of Damocles’ was a clear act to intimidate directors to vote for the SSNIT appointee”, stated Mrs. Edusei.
There are issues of alleged insider trading, a criminal offence, against RBTT which became a court matter between HFC Bank and RBTT. The Supreme Court recently upheld RBTT’s view that the complaint should first have been lodged with SEC and not at the court.  That issue remains unresolved.
The statements therefore cautioned the HFC Bank board not to turn a blind eye in view of shareholder interest, noting, it is duty bound to establish the truth of this allegation.
Meanwhile, SEC is expected to issue its report on the outcomes of investigations into alleged breaches lodged by two concerned shareholders, Mrs. Eudora Koranteng and Mr. Kwasi Asante, individually against RBTT.
Credit: HFC Bank


Popular posts from this blog

PFM Act to guide local government authority borrowing

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The bill, Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 921 which has been passed into law by Parliament is to guide public institutions especially the local government authority borrowing. The law was pass on 3rdAugust, 2016
According to the law, local government authority, a public corporation or state-owned enterprise is liable for the debt and other obligations without recourse to Government, unless otherwise explicitly guaranteed by Government in accordance with this Act.
Madam Eva Esselba Mends, the Chief Economic Officer and Group Head of PFM at the Ministry of Finance told the Daily Express that the law involves a lot but it also give instruction to how state institutions can borrow especially with the  local government authority.
She mentioned that there is no specific law in place that gives direction as to what local authority can do when it comes to borrowing by the authority. Other public corporations sometimes borrow with huge amount for their operation but loca…

Vodafone fined a record £4.6 million for IT blunder

A top-up error left pay-as-you-go customers out of pocket and complaints were mishandled
Vodafone has been fined a record £4.6 million by the telecoms watchdog forleaving thousands of customers out of pocket in a disastrous IT blunder.
Ofcom found that the operator mishandled complaints and failed to pay into the accounts of more than 10,000 pay-as-you-go customers when they topped up their credit.
The top-up error, which cost customers £150,000 over 17 months in 2014 and 2015, stemmed from the moving of 28.5 million accounts to a new billing system.Errors in billing data and price plans caused so much protest that it made Vodafone the most complained-about mobile network in Britain.The technical issues were resolved by April 2015 and all accounts are now on the new system, Vodafone said.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said:“Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies.”
The company says that it has ref…

Enterprise Life inaugurates social centre for Kumasi SOS village

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Enterprise Life and Sanlam South Africa together with SOS Children’s Villages Ghana have jointly inaugurated a newly constructed social centre at the SOS Children’s Village, Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The project, valued at GHc485,000.00 forms part of Enterprise Life and Sanlam-South Africa’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to promote quality education and health for vulnerable children in Ghana.
The newly established social centre provides a suitable multi-purpose facility with a spacious auditorium among others to host different social activities related to child growth and development and will cater for both SOS children and students of the Hermann Gmeiner School.
The centre also offers the beneficiaries the opportunity to freely socialize and participate actively in educational oriented activities such as school concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.
The Executive Director of Enterprise Life, Mrs. Jacqueline Benyi expressed satisfaction that her outf…