The co-founder of the now-defunct Unique Trust Bank (UT), Prince Kofi Amoabeng, said he has no regrets about the way his company is handling defaults.
He said he should even have “done more” to force these people to pay their debts.
Speaking in an interview on First morning On Monday, the retired banker said officials at the financial institution had become reluctant to prosecute defaulters after they were upgraded and turned into a bank.
“For the very things we were doing, we were successful. But, now that we became a bank and got bigger, my influence couldn’t reach everyone, and my managers didn’t show the same way of collecting money and that partly resulted in defaults, ”he said. noted.
While UT Bank was still in business, Kofi Amoabeng was criticized for the bank’s approach to repay defaulters. For critics, the approach was harassing.
But Amoabeng insists the approach has worked as debtors have repaid the loans granted to them.
He explained that it was important to be aggressive because repayment was not on the priority list of debtors.
“For Ghanaian businessmen, if you give them a loan, instead of coming to pay, the first thing they think of is either getting a wife, buying a car, spending money on the funeral. without coming to pay the loan, ”he said. .
He rejected opinions that their approach was “too extreme”.
According to him, if debtors had been honest in communicating their challenges to the institution, collectors would have been more lenient.
Despite this, Kofi Amoabeng said he “loved those who were lacking”.
Admitting that the “tough” relationship he had with defaulters had affected his reputation, he said it also enabled him to be successful in the business.
“Even other banks have assigned their bad debts to us. So besides collecting our money, we also collected for other institutions. If you can’t collect, you go down, and you go down and fail your investors. Therefore, you have to find ways to collect your money, ”he said.
“I have known Ghanaians. I knew how business people behave. So I knew their mentality and I intended to discipline them.
Kofi Amoabeng recounted how some people who were “kicked out” to pay off their debt later told him that they had become disciplined because of the approach.
The retired businessman insisted that if he ever embarks on lending, his approach to debt collection will be “worse than before”.
“If I had to give you money back this time and you didn’t pay, I would come, worse than before.”
I would never understand why you go out of your way to take people’s money and give it to someone in need and when they can’t even pay, you disrespect you by not even coming to see you. People will say the approach is too mean but I gave you people’s money and I don’t sleep, I stay awake and come to you at dawn and you call me reckless? What are you then? “