Banker, pastor, teef Christian financial elites and vernaculars of accountability in Ghana


When nine Ghanaian banks collapsed during the country's 2017–2019 financial crisis, a Charismatic Pentecostal pastor was at the center of public accusations as the board chairman of one of the failed banks. His role put a spotlight on the growing influence of Charismatic Pentecostal institutions and elites in Ghana's financial market. Shifting the perspective between diverse actors who reckoned with the bank's collapse, from ordinary Christians to artist-activists, this article explores how Ghanaians evaluated the culpability of the pastor and in so doing problematized who Christian elites involved in banking and business are accountable to: God, their congregants, or the public at large? We argue that global financial liberalization has generated new types of financial elites, Pentecostal pastors among them, who become subject to new lines of accountability. Holding someone accountable comes with stakes expressed through vernacular registers that demonstrate how financial markets are engulfed in broader social relations and regimes of ethical evaluation.