By Dawit Taye, The Reporter
The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has notified Ermyas Amelga, founding shareholder and former board chairman of Zemen Bank— the only one-branch bank in Ethiopia— that he has banned from holding a position in any bank for an unspecified period of time.
The letter, which Ermyas received on Tuesday, however, did not state the reasons and the details of the case that led to the decision.
It is to be remembered that NBE suspended Ermyas from Zemen’s board following a serious accusation over an alleged conflict of interest between the bank and Access capital, promoter of the former during its formation stages and where Ermyas is also serving as a Chief Executive Officer..
Ermyas informed The Reporter that he has written a detailed letter to the Prime Minister and did not want to comment further on the matter.
Following the election of board of directors of Zemen bank that put Ermyas at the top position at the board, NBE ordered the re-audit of the bank’s finances and an investigation into the relationship between the Zemen and Access during the formation of the bank.
Citing the need for further clarification regarding the financial affairs of the bank and its promoter, the central bank suspended Ermyas from his board chairmanship. Zemen was also directed by the regulatory body to elect another board chairman in March, 2011. As per the orders the bank elected Tsegaye Habte (PhD) as board chairman in place of Ermyas.
NBE further appointed the state-owned Audit Services Corporation (ASC) to peruse the pre-establishment financial statements of Zemen. According to reports, the re-audit indeed found few irregularities in the way Access Capital and Zemen handled business at the time. However, it failed short of finding a major conflict of interest as a result of Ermyas’s involvement in the two institutions.
NBE did not address in detail the findings of the re-audit report in its final decision.
Latest detailed reporting from Addis Fortune: Ermyas, Tekle Face Central Bank’s Wrath over Zemen Bank
Addis FortuneNBE bans Ermyas Amelga from position as board chairman, March 20, 2011
Addis FortunePrivate Banking Syndicate Sidelines Zemen
Addis FortuneErmyas Amelga proclaims innocence