Crane bank limited was closed by Bank of Uganda (BoU) on October 20, 2016, after it failed to comply with a capital call on July 1, 2016. Central bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said that the Crane bank takeover was guided by the systemic nature of the undercapitalized institution to avoid financial sector instability.
Kasaija told the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) that he raised Sudhir on phone before the bank closure and urged him to sell off some of his properties and not to let the bank sink.
"When the governor brought to my attention the problem Crane bank had, I rang Mr Sudhir [and told him]; ’Mr Sudhir, I don’t want your bank to go under’. If he was here, he would testify. ’I don’t want this bank to go under because when it goes under, it reflects very poorly on the economy…The bankers tell me your bank is uncapitalized. I know that you own some properties here in town, would you mind to sell off some of those properties'…He said: 'No. Hon minister am fed up let the bank go.' I tried, I tried it myself and I can give it to him here. I talked to him on phone and told him let us save this bank." said Kasaija.
However, Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa told Kasaija that Sudhir's statement could have been incited by the several failed attempts his bank made to secure assistance from the central bank to no avail.
Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among and Iganga Municipality MP Peter Mugema added that attempts by the Crane bank to secure a Shs 79 billion loan from the central bank aborted after the agreement between both parties for the money to be availed. These suspect that this also could have led Sudhir to give up.
Kasaija said that it was unfortunate that minimal attention was given by the central bank to revive defunct banks.
Appearing before Cosase on Wednesday, Sudhir said that the agreement for the sale of Crane bank to dfcu bank was shoddy and fraudulent, saying that the Purchase of Assets and Liabilities (P&A) agreement signed between BoU and dfcu did not have details of all assets and liabilities that were being taken over.
Alex Rezida, a lawyer and former director in Crane bank also said that the illegality of the sale is confirmed by the auditor general's report which stated that the central bank would have been concerned with the revival of the institution instead of breaking it.
Former Crane bank chairman of board of directors, Joseph Biribonwa, the central bank frustrated investors who were willing to revive the bank.