Crane Bank has termed it as ‘baseless’ rumors that Bank of Uganda has advised its customers to withdraw their money from the leading locally owned bank. The bank says these rumors are being spread by ‘malicious’ people who are trying to bring the bank down.
Bank of Uganda has also come out to defend the commercial bank explaining that they have not issued such a directive. “It has been brought to our attention that messages have been circulating on Whatsapp instructing depositors to withdraw their money from Crane Bank within the next week. We wish to categorically state that these messages were not issued by Bank of Uganda,” the central bank said in a statement released on their Facebook official page.
Today social media has been awash with rumors quoting an inside source at Bank of Uganda encouraging Crane Bank customers to go and withdraw their money before next week. The frightening message which circulated on social media reads: Guys if u know anyone with money in Crane Bank tell them to remove it …. Within the next week.
However a manager at the commercial bank has affirmed that these are mere rumors which should not cause any panic. He said “This is a well capitalized bank which has served Ugandans over the years. Our capitalization is about Ushs1.3trillion. How can we be closing? How can Bank of Uganda close such a health bank?” the manager, who asked not to be named because he doesn’t speak for the bank, wondered.
The central bank which regulates commercial banks said in a statement signed by Christine Alupo, Director Communications, that they have received several inquiries from the public on Crane Bank following reports that they are seeking strategic investors. Crane Bank recently informed the public that they are in negotiation with an investor to buy the banks shares.
On the selling of the shares, the central bank said “The shareholders of commercial banks have the option of selling shares to new investors as they deem appropriate. However, any new investor in a commercial bank must satisfy the regulator that they are fit and proper. The BOU does not comment on any negotiations to sell shares in a bank while these negotiations are ongoing.”
The bank said the selling of shares is intended to increase their capacity to be able to lend to the public. “The selling of shares need to be structured in a way that we are able to lend to the market and run a health bank. Look, we have 46 branches spread across the country, to be able to run these branches sufficiently, every branch needs to have about 2-3 million dollars to be able to lend to the customers.” A crane bank official said.
Rumors that Sudhir Ruparelia, the owner of the bank sent a letter to 500 of his 500 top debtors calling in the loans, according to Crane Bank management, is false and should be treated with contempt. Crane Bank is a Ugandan bank which has served its customers since 1995. It is the first locally established bank to cross borders. The bank operates in Rwanda and has set its eyes on entering South Sudan.
The bank which currently employees about 2000 Ugandans has been a pillar in supporting traders, farmers SMEs, educational institutions and other businesses in the country. According to a previous press statement, Crane Bank has provided financial services to corporate and retail sectors in Uganda for a number of years, largely focusing on Micro, Small & Medium enterprises (SMEs).
The award winning Bank aims not only to provide the best services at the most economical terms to its customers, but also to encourage the culture of banking within the unbanked population. Crane Bank also exercises its corporate responsibility beyond its core business. More than 15,000 people benefit from the different initiatives as part of its commitment to society.
Crane Bank owned by the Ruparelia Group, supports communities in a range of ways, through organizing medical camps, contributing to educational centers, sponsorships of various activities, contributions of school fees, as well as educating the public on financial products.