DFCU Bank Limited has taken over Crane Bank, more than four months after the Central Bank took control of what used to be Uganda’s third largest banking institution.
Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile told journalists in Kampala this morning that the central bank has transferred all Crane Bank’s assets and liabilities to DFCU group adding that all customers and depositors of Crane Bank shall now have their accounts operated by DFCU Bank Limited.
Mutebile said DFCU emerged winner out of 13 institutions that competed to take over of Crane Bank. He added that the sale was in exercise of the Central Bank’s powers as a receiver, under Sec 95(1)(b) of the Financial Intelligence Act.
Ibrahim Kabanda, a Board Member of Bank of Uganda defended DFCU’s takeover of Crane Bank saying it is a very strong bank supported by big institutions in Europe citing the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) and others.
DFCU runs 47 branches across the country, some of which now include former branches of Crane Bank. Prior to its closure, Crane Bank had 46 branches across the country and an asset base of 1.79 trillion Shillings.
The central bank took over Crane Bank in October, 2016 upon determination that it was significantly under-capitalized and posed systemic risks to the stability of the financial systems. Back then, Mutebile said that the continuation of Crane Bank activities in the current form was detrimental to the interests of its depositors.
Problems within Crane Bank were first detected at the end of September 2015 after regular examination indicated that there was significant under-capitalization of the bank.
This was also confirmed in the auditor’s report of 2015 indicating that the Bank reported a consolidated pre-tax loss of over 7 billion Shillings during the year as a result of an increase in expenses and losses on loans and advances. This was a contrast of its 57 billion Shillings profits recorded in 2014.
The central bank governor explains that the problem was partially caused by a number of bad and doubtful loans that could have undermined the performance of the bank. He however adds that the management of the Bank takes a share of the blame for the crisis.
Justine Bagyenda, the executive director for supervision explains that a bank is declared as significantly under-capitalized, when its level of capitalization is less than 50 percent of the statutory requirement of 25 billion Shillings.
It has since then been managed by a statutory manager.
DFCU Limited was started by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) of the United Kingdom and the Government of Uganda through the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) under the name of Development Finance Company of Uganda Limited.
Later restructuring brought in DEG (of Germany) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) as equal partners with CDC and UDC, each having a 25 percent stake in the company. Its objective was to support long-term development projects whose financing needs and risk did not appeal to the then existing financial commercial lending institutions.
DFCU Limited was incorporated under the Laws of Uganda on the 14th of May 1964, as a Private Limited Liability Company. In 1999, DFCU acquired Uganda Leasing Company which became DFCU Leasing, to provide direct asset based finance.