Go to court, BoU tells off ex-Crane Bank workers

Friday November 30 2018

 Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tu

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile appears before Parliament’s Cosase. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By Betty Ndagire

Kampala. A Bank of Uganda (BoU) has told off former Crane Bank staff who lost their jobs during the bank’s liquidation to dfcu Bank that the central bank is ready for a legal battle should they decide to sue.
In the central bank’s letter of November 28, 2018 signed by Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the regulatory bank says the former Crane Bank staff employment was terminated in accordance with the law.
The affected former Crane Bank staff last month issued a notice to Bank of Uganda and dfcu Bank of their intention to sue for alleged loss of employment, breach of duty, trust and negligence, misrepresentation, deceit and discrimination.
“We refer to a statutory notice of intended suit captioned above, which you served the Bank of Uganda on 23 October 2018. This is to advise that contrary to the allegations contained in the aforementioned notice, the collective termination of the former Crane Bank Ltd employees was done in accordance with the law,” the Governor’s letter reads in part.
“The Bank is therefore; ready to defend itself should you proceed with the action against it,” Mr Mutebile’s letter further reads.
Mr Isaac Ssemakadde, the lawyer representing the former Crane Bank employees, yesterday said they were working on the documentation to formally file a suit against the central bank and dfcu in court.
Earlier, about 400 former Crane Bank staff indicated that the central bank had assured them that all the bank’s employees would not lose their jobs during the transition process.
They stated that upon dfcu Bank taking over Crane Bank in January last year, they were sacked during the restructuring exercise.
Core to their grievances is that their dismissal contravened the Employment Act 2006 and that their respective contracts were transferred to dfcu bank in January this year.
Crane Bank was taken over by the central bank on October 20, 2016 after its capital was eroded to below the stipulated minimum required capital, thereby putting the customers’ deposits at risk. BoU explained this was due to Crane Bank’s Non-Performing Loans.