December 22, 2022

Databank Workers Begin Work From Home Due To Abuse

Management of Databank Group has announced their offices will be physically closed from today, Thursday, December 22, 2022.

This means staff members will work remotely.

This was communicated in a notice from the institution to the public.

“Please note that effective tomorrow December 22, all Databank staff will be working from home until January 10, 2023”, it said.

The notice explained the decision to close their offices is due to liquidity challenges confronting the company as a result of the macro-economic crisis and the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

“We are in the midst of a macro-economic crisis, which is adversely affecting our industry and therefore Databank. Due to the crisis, many fund managers had difficulty selling their Government of Ghana securities. This inability to sell meant fund managers could not get the necessary cash to pay withdrawal requests. In instances where bonds were sold, it was often done at a discount because the market value of bonds had fallen significantly.

“This situation worsened after the launch of the Debt Exchange Program on December 5, 2022. Following the launch, activity on the secondary market has virtually come to a halt, making it impossible for us to access liquidity. This is because fund managers are expected to exchange all their existing bonds for the new ones being issued by the Government. However, if we are unable to trade the bonds we have, we are unable to access any cash to pay withdrawal requests. Therefore, our original two-week estimate for withdrawal requests has now been impacted.”

With the decision to work remotely, it explained that it is meant to protect its workers from physical abuse and threats.

“There are several clients who have felt the need to abuse our staff physically and verbally, and also threaten their lives as well as their families. As such, we have no choice but to move to a work-from-home option. While our offices will be physically closed, we will continue to serve you and process transactions remotely, and all our digital channels will remain open just as we did during Covid.”

Customers of Databank have been using various social media channels to vent their frustration in accessing their funds amidst speculations that the financial entity had collapsed.

But in a notice to customers a few weeks ago, Databank assured that the messages were “completely false” and added, “It is mischief meant to create unnecessary panic.”

In addressing its liquidity challenges, Databank said, it was engaging with the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ghana Securities Industry Association.

“As part of these discussions, the SEC issued a notice to Market Operators (SEC/CIR/005/12/22) on December 9, 2022, indicating its intent to support the market with much-needed liquidity relief, including access to the Financial Stability Fund as a last resort. Therefore, we are hopeful that once the Debt Exchange Program has been concluded (expected settlement date: January 6, 2023), we will be able to access the necessary funds to once again pay withdrawal requests. We are totally reliant on the Government of Ghana to pay us, so we can in turn pay clients.”


Source: Fuseini

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