Massive withdrawals at Unibank branches

Branches of uniBank have opened to panic withdrawals by customers across the country barely a day after it was taken over by the Bank of Ghana.

Scores of customers have besieged the various branches across the country to withdraw their monies despite assurances by the Bank of Ghana that their monies are safe under the new arrangement.

The reasons for the withdrawals were varied. Some claimed they had to withdraw their monies for routine and emergency activities while others felt insecure and uncertain about the safety of their monies in the bank.

They had been held up for several hours as new administrators- KPMG- were locked up in a meeting with staff at the various branches.

A statement issued by KPMG said the bank would open at 12:00 noon, Wednesday, but from “Thursday 22 March, the bank will open for business at the normal operating hours.”

“The bank will continue to operate as normal,” the statement added.

But these are not normal times for some of the customers.At the Achimota Branch where Joy News’ Komla Adom visited, dozens of customers had converged at the bank’s premises to make withdrawals early morning.

One of the customers said his mom was sick and needed to make an urgent withdrawal to take care of her medical bills but the bank was yet to open.

The ATM too was not functioning, he lamented.

Another customer who claimed to have a savings of 10,000 cedis at the bank and wanted to make a withdrawal of 5,000 was unsure what to expect.

He said he would take a decision when the bank was opened at 12 for operations to begin.

At the Sunyani Branch, the situation was no different. Precious Semevoh reported that the main banking hall remained locked before the 12:00 noon when it was due to open.

A number of the customers who had gone to make withdrawals were unhappy with the turn of events.

At the Techiman Branch most of the customers were very angry with the management of the bank, Anas Sabit reported.

Police personnel were seen at the bank’s premises hovering around to ensure law and order.

After midday

The gloom on the faces of the customers changed at least for the time being. A number of the customers had access to the banking hall shortly after midday.

Joy News reporters at the various branches said the customers were being served.

For a company said to be cash-strapped and with a possibility of turning away customers if they come in huge numbers it is not clear yet how the new administrators will manage the mad rush for cash at the various branches.