Sign up for regular news, views and insights about corporate governance

Name
Email
Company
Job title
Industry

Close

Setting the benchmark in corporate integrity

Ecobank accused of fraudulent governance

The African bank is under investigation by the SEC following allegations of fraud by a suspended company executive

Pan-African lender Ecobank is currently under investigation following allegations by suspended executive Laurence do Rego – whose role entails risk management and finance – claiming that the bank’s board was not operating in the interests of shareholders.


The bank, which boasts a presence in 34 African nations, is alleged by Rego to have sold off non-core assets at “well below market value,” according to a letter seen by the FT. Rego also wrote that she was asked to improperly write off debts owned by chairman Kolapo Lawson and misstate the bank’s 2012 results in order to improve those of 2013, the time in which Thierry Tanoh became CEO.

In addition to these claims, Rego called into question the validity of Tanoh’s $1.14m bonus in 2012, which she states was $935,967 above the terms stipulated in his contract. The company’s CEO is yet to receive the bonus pending the results of the investigation.

Rego was suspended from work in August, following an investigation by the bank into the misstatement of her qualifications on joining the bank 11 years ago, allegations she has since denied.

Nonetheless, the claims have been taken seriously by the SEC, who confirmed in a company statement on September 3 that they’re in the process of investigating any pitfalls or missteps in Ecobank’s corporate governance. “We assure the investing public that the investigation will as usual be thorough and rigorous and will ensure adequate protection of the investors,” wrote the SEC in a press statement.

Ecobank claimed on September 2 that its 2012 consolidated financial statement aligns with the appropriate regulatory standards and is certified by PwC, adding that the report was published under IFRS guidelines, according to This Day Live.

The bank also wrote in an August 6 press statement, that “The Board concluded that there had been no financial impropriety and that Mr Lawson had acted in good faith throughout. As a result, the Board unanimously reaffirmed its confidence in Mr Lawson.”

 

News

Motorola announces support for 30 Asia-Pacific education initiatives

The Motorola Solutions Foundation Grants will affect 79,000 individuals

Health audit ceases force’s IT system

Surrey Police forced to abandon failed multi-million pound computer system

Social business collaboration enhances corporate communications

Social media technologies offer unprecedented digital opportunities to share information, communicate and collaborate which are now being translated into a means of internal corporate communication management

Aviva’s failure to meet objectives reflected in slashed dividends

Despite job cuts and a vast disposal programme, the insurance firm’s executives have seen a pay freeze, dividends slashed and shares crashing resulting from a £3.1bn loss after tax

EU outlines new disclosure guidelines for extractive industries

Newly introduced laws are to ensure resource-rich nations are less so made subjects of exploitation, requiring for a much greater extent of transparency among extractive industries

Australian government launches mining probe

Australia’s securities regulator is set to launch a probe of the country’s biggest mining companies in a bid to crack down on selective briefings

RBS shareholders file suit against bank and former directors

RBS shareholders have launched a class-action suit over the 2008 rights offering a few months before the bank was bailed out by British government

Commission propose fundamental changes to German Corporate Governance

The Government Commission for the German Corporate Code has, in February of this year, proposed a series of changes it believes will greatly improve the current upholding of corporate governance

Xerox chief accounting officer appointed to the IASB

Trustees of the IFRS Foundation have announced the appointment of Gary Kaburek as the sixteenth member of the International Accounting Standards Board

IASB chairman defends stance on prudence

Despite criticism, accountancy regulator’s chairman says the downgrading of prudence from a fundamental concept is justified

UAE discusses role of CSR in sustainable development

Philanthropy and sustainability debated at forum arranged by UAE’s University Leadership Council

Moody’s appoints new head of internal audits

New vice president of internal audit will be in charge of corporate governance, risk management and internal control processes

Highest paid CEOs, 2012

The world’s top jobs command the world’s top remunerations, so long as they’re well earned

ASEAN governance framework established

The results of the first-ever ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard have been released, in an effort to establish greater international visibility

Eurosif report calls for better ESG engagement

Eurosif release a report that highlights benefits of better shareholder engagement over ESG policies