Aggrieved customers of collapsed investment firms demand payment of locked up funds

The securities and exchange commission have been asked to start paying customers of the failed investment companies even as it continues with its validation process.

Following the announcement by President Nana Akuffo Addo in the State of the Nation Address on February 20, 2020, he said customers of defunct Savings and Loans companies and microfinance institutions will begin receiving their locked-up funds from Monday, February 24, 2020.

The affected customers were hoping to receive their monies as the government started paying customers of the defunct savings and loans and microfinance companies.

But for some reasons, SEC is telling the affected individuals to wait a little longer due to some important inconsistencies identified between the value of claims filed by investors as against the records of the defunct fund management firms.

But the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Collapsed Fund Management Companies believes SEC can start with the payments while the validation process is still ongoing.

Also, according to Secretary for the Coalition, Joseph Ayitey, he said the position of the regulator is an unfortunate one.

“It is very unfortunate that we are receiving this news after we have waited for almost two years for our funds since 2018 that this whole crisis started. It is just a matter of the regulator stating that after reviewing the list that is with us, this is not the amount we are owing, but rather we are owing to you this amount. The point is that if now you are saying that you are going to validate, what kind of validation are you going to do? But in any case, it could also be that per the records that we are also holding, our figure is the true reflection of what is on the ground. So, it is a matter of commencing payment. If they start the payment and there is any variance to deal with, individual customers will look at the situation and deal with the variance,” he said.

On the part of aggrieved customers

Earlier this month, members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of the defunct 53 Fund Management Companies called on the government to begin payment of their locked-up funds before March 24, 2020.

The ordeal of the group was that the government has ignored customers of the collapsed fund management in paying depositors’ monies following the clean up in the financial sector.

What is the view of the SEC?

In response to this, the Deputy Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Paul Ababio, made an assurance to investors that their funds would receive their funds after the validation exercise completed.

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(Image: Deputy Director-General of SEC, Paul Ababio)

In explaining the validation process, he said a process to validate the claims is ongoing_ hence, payments would take off after validation is completed.

 

“We received claims; we gave up to January. What we have to go through now is the validation process. Along with that is also ascertaining the value of the claims to ensure that the claims that are reflected in the firms’ books are as we have received as well. And coming out of that, we are also in touch with the government obviously about the allocation of resources to ensure that the right sums are available, obviously to pay,” the Deputy Director-General said.

 

Payments made so far

According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, as of March 5, 2020, claims worth over GH¢787 million have been paid to a total of 15,997 customers of the collapsed savings and loans (MS&Ls), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Micro-credit Institutions have been paid their monies.