Stunning new revelations have emerged showing the level of indebtedness of Crane Bank in the weeks before it was placed into statutory administration by Bank of Uganda in October 2016.
The revelations emerged when documents were filed by Bank of Uganda lawyer in the Commercial Court in a counter claim suit filed by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia against the Central Bank became public.
The documents reveal some of the massive deposits that were at risk of being lost if BoU had delayed and not taken over the management of Crane Bank.
It has been revealed that Crane bank had demand deposits worth Shs386 billion, savings deposits worth Shs82 billion and time deposits worth Shs508 billion.
Deposits are liabilities to the bank and not assets because they can be taken away on demand especially when there is a run on the financial institution.
Banks normally take such deposits from customers and lend them out to borrowers (loans) and earn interest on the loans. The belief is that the depositors will not all demand their money back at the same time.
The worst case scenario for any financial institution is when depositors fearing losing their money all come to the bank demanding to take away their deposits. When large number of customers demand to withdraw their deposits in a short time there is what is called a run on the bank.
Normally this is caused by a panic which is caused by concerns (real or superficial) about the solvency of the bank.
In the case of Crane Bank many of the big depositors worrying about their money and wanting to take it out to safety were institutions and thus we didn’t not witness long lines of people at the ATM withdrawing their money.
Some of the top depositors of Crane bank revealed in the court papers are: National Social Security Fund (NSSF) operated over 10 accounts with over 70billion shillings. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) had Shs 6 billion on its account.
National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) had Shs 2.1 billion on its Crane Bank account. Fountain Publishers had Shs 1billion. Hotel Africana staff saving scheme that had Shs 480 million, Crane Financial Services had Shs451million. UAP Financial Services with Shs 400 million, Children of Grace Uganda with Shs 436 million, Lohana Community of Kampala had Shs 220 million.
Some of the top individual account holders include Dr James Rwanyarare with Shs 2.2 billion, Kwagalana group supremo Godfrey Kirumira with Shs 500m. Capt. Sanday Newman with Shs 300 million, John FZ Barenzi with Shs 300 million and Prof George Kanyeihamba with Shs 221m.
Bank of Uganda took over the management of Crane Bank on worries that the bank had suffered so many losses in its loan disbursements, and was operating below the required capital requirement putting the cash deposits of its customers at a risk.
BoU was worried if one depositor say NSSF withdrew its money Crane Bank would fail to pay the 70billion and therefore collapse. To lessen this real risk BoU had asked Crane Bank to raise capital and Crane had failed to find a strategic investor.
BoU thus took over the bank and later sold most of its assets and liabilities to dfcu bank. BoU later sued Crane Bank owner Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Lts accusing them of causing financial loss and siphoning off billions of Crane bank monies.
Sudhir filed a counter suit against BoU and it is in the defence for this counter suit that these documents were filed by BoU lawyers.
BoU is represented by MMAKS Advocates, and David FK Mpanga while Sudhir is represented by Kampala Associates.