Uganda Registration Services Bureau Appears Before the Committee On Commissions, Statutory Authorities & State Enterprises
Today 12th February 2019, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) appeared before the committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) to respond to and also highlight on the closure of Cooperative Bank Limited in 1999. According to the records of Registrar of Companies, Bank of Uganda (BOU) closed off the Cooperative Bank which had been under-capitalised and liquidated. However, the committee invited URSB, to highlight in the allegation that the Registrar of Companies at URSB registered two companies holding the same name of “Cooperative Bank Limited” without the consent of the shareholder of the Original and Cooperative bank which was first registered.
The Registrar of companies from URSB first noted that according the financial institutions Act of 2014 and under intellectual property Law in Uganda, the Registrar of Companies is mandated to register Companies in the names chosen to the extent that the Company’s names don’t infringe on the rights of the existing Companies. The Registrar further noted that, in view of Cooperative Bank Limited, the subsequent bank which was registered in the same names was registered as a Public Company with the aim of firstly taking over the assets, liabilities and management of the former Cooperative Bank Limited. The new bank was also intended to carry on the business of the bank subject to the Financial Institutions Act. The registrar noted that among other subscribers of the Bank were Kigezi Cooperative Union and Bugisu Cooperative Union.
The Registrar of Companies indicated that as a practise and Under the Ugandan laws, is not allowed to register a name that already exists and is being used by another companies, except under rare circumstances. However, the Registrar admitted that the registration of the two companies in the same names of “Cooperative Bank Limited” was an oversight on the part of the then Registrar
RESPONSE FROM THE COMMITTEE.
Hon. Abdu Katuntu the chair of the committee was curious as to whether the current leadership at URSB would have handled the matter differently if they had been confronted with the same issue. To which the Registrar of Companies responded that she would not have registered the two companies in the same names given the Law and practise and URSB.
The committee directed that individual officers who were found at fault be held personally accountable.
The committee further urged URSB to do due diligence while registering the companies to avoid future reoccurrence of such mistakes.
The Committee Chair Hon. Abdu Katuntu adjourned the meeting.