Crane Chambers, formerly headquarters of Crane Bank.

New figures by the Uganda Revenue Authority show that Crane Bank paid more taxes than DFCU Bank in 2017 despite the fact that the latter took over the former in January of that year as over 270 top companies paid over Shs4.2 trillion.

According to the list of the 274 top taxpayers in Uganda in 2017, Crane Bank paid taxes worth over Shs33.5 billion while DFCU Bank paid taxes over Shs26.2 billion, putting Crane Bank in position 24 while the latter was 27th as MTN Uganda came top with Shs431 billion paid in taxes to government.

The two banks however were beaten by the largest bank in the country, Stanbic Bank which was 13th, having paid just over Shs79.1 billion in taxes during that year.

It should be remembered that in January 2017, the Bank of Uganda (BOU) announced it had sold Crane Bank to DFCU Bank in a controversial deal worth Shs200 billion after taking over management of Crane Bank in October 2016.

Kampala businessman and majority shareholder in Crane Bank Sudhir Ruparelia would later sue BOU and DFCU Bank for illegally taking over his bank. Specifically, Sudhir said BoU took over his Bank, branches and properties, which it handed over to DFCU bank without proper transfers. But BOU through DFCU, has also sued Sudhir and his Meera Investments, accusing him of fraud that reportedly caused Crane Bank a loss of Shs400bn. The case is pending in court.

BOU and DFCU also claimed that a lot of the assets of Crane Bank were bad loans, worth Shs550 billion. They claimed that DFCU inherited Shs800 billion worth of good loans from Crane Bank. But DFCU had invested nothing to get the loans worth 800 billion.

Meanwhile, the central bank claimed then that Crane Bank had non-performing loans (bad loans) worth Shs550 billion and as such claimed they were written off to zero and Sudhir has been asked to pay for all of them. But most of all the so called “bad loans” had collateral, in most cases the best pieces of real estate in Uganda.

However, DFCU Bank would in mid-August 2017 raise eyebrows in the public as it announced half year net profit of Shs114 billion, up from Shs23.3bn in June 2016.Interesting management would attribute the huge jump in net profit to the acquisition of Crane.

More than a year after taking over Crane Bank, DFCU reported a huge profit of Shs127.6 billion in the year that ended on December 31, 2017 compared to Shs46 billion earned in the same period in 2016.

Click on the link to view list The list showing the top 280 tax payers as of last year 2017(1)