Members of Parliament (MPS) sitting on the committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) have learnt that Bank of Uganda compelled Crane Bank to acquire National Bank of Commerce at its closure.
The revealation was made by the former Vice Chairman and proprietor of Crane Bank, Sudhir Ruparelia as he appeared before the committee to speak about the controversial sale of Crane Bank Ltd as the committee investigates the sale of the seven defunct banks.
Sudhir was the largest shareholder of Crane Bank until its closure in October, 2016 having taken over National Bank of Commerce in 2012 to which the former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi was a shareholder.
In his submission on Wednesday, Sudhir noted that it was never the intention of Crane Bank to buy off NBC but acted on the orders of the then BOU Executive Director Bank Supervision, Justine Bagyenda.
“Our brothers in arms at NBC have expressed some concerns about CBL in relation to NBC assets. To address these concerns, we would like to clarify that CBL was not interested in acquiring the assets of NBC,” Sudhir told the committee.
He said that CBL did not bid for NBC assets but was rather ‘compelled’ to acquire the assets by the then Executive Director Supervision, Justine Bagyenda.
“She did this over the telephone. She called up the CBL MD, Mr Kalan and informed us that she was directing us to acquire these assets. She wasn’t asking , it was an order,” Sudhir said.
The businessman revealed that Kalan later called up the members of the Board and informed them of the directive after which they signed the Purchase of Assets and Assumption of liabilities Agreement with BOU dated September 27, 2012.
Crane Bank paid Shs 1.12bn as consideration for the Purchase of Assets and Assumptions agreement.
“The NBC Bad Book was not transferred to Crane Bank instead it was left as Assets held in Escrow and belonged to BOU and not CBL,” Sudhir added.