Ecobank to hold key board meeting

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Accra - Pan-African lender Ecobank will hold a hastily arranged board meeting on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the bank's executive leaders wrote to the chairman calling for Chief Executive Thierry Tanoh to step down.

Deputy chief executive Albert Essien and three other members of the five-member Group Executive Committee that Tanoh leads sent an email on February 13 to Siaka saying Tanoh should stand down to resolve a long-running crisis of leadership.

Last week, Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had written to Ecobank to say it should reinstate its finance director, Laurence do Rego, who was suspended by the bank last August and left the bank in January.

The SEC began an investigation last year after do Rego told regulators she was pressured to misstate 2012 financial results. Ecobank denies her allegations.

Ecobank, one of sub-Saharan Africa's largest financial institutions operating in 33 African countries, has told the SEC that to reinstate do Rego would be criminal under Togolese law.

Board chairman Andre Siaka said the meeting would begin at 10 a.m. (11:00 SA time) in Lome, Togo, where the bank has its headquarters, but declined to give details of the agenda.

“There will be a board meeting tomorrow in Lome and the agenda is confirmed,” Siaka told Reuters by telephone.

Ecobank's board has 12 members, including Tanoh and the four other members of the executive committee that runs the bank.

The board meeting comes before an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Lome to consider a slate of governance reforms including establishing a seven-member interim board.

The EGM follows criticism of the bank's governance by the Nigerian regulator as well as a report on governance by professional services organisation EY that was commissioned by the bank. - Reuters

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