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Following the suspension of two members of its Board of Directors and top managements by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CBO) has appointed an acting management team earlier this week.
NBE which is the financial institutions’ supervisory body informed CBO on Tuesday, September 22, it has suspended the chairman of the Board of Directors and his deputy. The information that Capital obtained from CBO indicated that the bank’s president and his two vices were among those removed.
Sources at CBO told Capital that Muluneh Dissassa, head of the Finfine (Main) Branch of CBO, has been appointed as the Acting President.
According to sources, CBO has also appointed two vice presidents to fill the vacant positions.
Gizaw Hailu, who works at CBO on a directorate level, has also been appointed as Acting Vice President for resources and services management. The other Acting Vice President for core services and relationships management is Feyera Ejeta, who was also directorate staff at CBO.
The Chairman of The Board Of Directors of the first and only cooperative bank, Abera Deressa (PhD), a former State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was serving in the stated position since February 2013 until his removal.
Tadesse Meskela, Deputy Chairman of the bank, was also another person suspended by NBE. Tadesse has been the General Manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, which is one of the strongest coffee unions in the country. He served as a member of Board of Directors of CBO for the second term since January 2010.
In its unexpected notification, NBE has also suspended, Wondimagegnehu Negera, president of CBO.
Wondimagegnehu, one of the youngest bank CEOs, has been at the bank since February 2011. He is the third president of CBO since it become operational in 2005. Wondimagnehu had served as Vice President of operation for the giant state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia before he took his position as president at CBO.
Abebe Tilahun, Vice President of resources and services management, and Tolesa Beyene, Vice President of core services and relationship management, are the other two vice presidents removed from their position.
The International Banking Department head, Bantayehu Kebede is the sixth member of the management suspended by NBE from his position.
CBO has 144 branches in Addis and throughout the country. The number of branches was 43 when Wondimagegnehu was assigned to the position of president in 2011.
Capital’s sources stated that the bank’s management and board chairs were suspended from their positions due to illegal banking procedures observed by NBE, but, Capital did not get confirmation from both CBO and NBE on the matter. Solomon Desta, Bank Supervision Director at NBE, declined to comment on the issue.
CBO (S.C.) was registered commercially on October 29, 2004. It was established with an authorized capital of 300 million birr. It started operation in March, 2005, with a paid up share capital of 112 million birr.