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Supreme Court affirms BoG committed no error in revoking the licence of UniCredit

June 26, 2024
Supreme Court

The in a unanimous decision affirmed that the committed no error in revoking the licence of UniCredit Ghana Limited.

The five-member panel presided over by Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal and affirmed the decision of the High Court in the case of the Republic Versus Bank of Ghana, Ex Parte Hoda Holdings Limited.

On March 18, 2021, the High Court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, ruled in favour of the Bank of Ghana, and held that from the evidence before the Court, UniCredit was insolvent prior to the revocation of its licence.

The Court found that contrary to UniCredit's claim of not being given a hearing, the Bank of Ghana served UniCredit with numerous notices directing it to rectify its capital deficiency, failing which the Bank of Ghana would exercise its powers under section 123 of Act 930.

The Court further held that the Bank of Ghana committed no missteps in revoking the license of Unicredit.

The High Court thus affirmed that the steps taken by the Bank of Ghana to revoke the licence of UniCredit and place it under receivership accorded with Act 930.

On August 16, 2019, The Bank of Ghana declared UniCredit Ghana Limited (Unicredit) insolvent and revoked its licence to operate as a savings and loans company, under section 123 of the Banks and Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions Act of 2016 (Act 930).

Hoda Holdings Limited, the majority shareholder of UniCredit filed an application at the Human Rights Division of the High Court seeking a judicial review of the decision of the Bank of Ghana, to revoke UniCredit's licence and an order of injunction restraining the Bank from interfering with the operations of UniCredit.

Hoda Holdings Limited, aggrieved and dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court appealed to the Court of Appeal.

On July 7, 2022, the Court of Appeal comprising Justice Janapare A. B, Justice G.S., Justice Merley Wood and Justice Gbiel S. Suurbaareh overturned the decision of the High Court and ruled in favour of Hoda Holdings Limited.

The Court of Appeal held that the Bank of Ghana in revoking the licence of UniCredit under section 123 of Act 930 should have followed the steps provided in section 16(3&4) of Act 930. The Court of Appeal further held that the failure of the Bank of Ghana to comply with the procedure in section 16(3&4) of Act 930 meant that UniCredit was not given a hearing before its licence was revoked.

The Central Bank, dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

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