More customers of the various financial institutions whose investments were locked up due to the closure of the institutions are heaving big sighs of relief following the release of their funds to them. As of Thursday, February 27, approximately 10,319 of the customers of collapsed savings and loans companies (S&LCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) had been paid.
They included 8,884 individual customers under the S&LCs; 449 social and welfare organisations; 428 companies, 152 savings and loans companies, microfinance, rural banks and finance houses. Customers paid under the MFIs are 132 social organisations and welfare category; 22 savings and loans and microfinance institutions, rural banks and finance houses; 48 financial security entities and 44 companies.
The rest are 28 micro-credit institutions and 132 social organisations.The payments were made possible through the GH¢5 billion the government released to the Receiver of the defunct institutions in the form of bonds and cash to help defray deposits of the customers through the Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG). The Head of Corporate Communications of the CBG, Dr Anita Oppong, told the Daily Graphic that of the 8,884 individual customers, 97.6 per cent were paid fully in cash.
She said payments were still in progress and gave an assurance that every customer whose request had been validated by the Receiver, Mr Eric Nana Nipah, would be paid accordingly. The release of the funds comes as a major relief to the thousands of customers in the financial services sector who had invested huge sums of money, with the hope of making some returns.
The bank is following laid down modalities designed for the payment of the outstanding depositor obligations, effective last Monday. For instance, based on the information to be provided by the Receiver on depositors due for payment, the CBG will open accounts for all depositors whose claim or claims have been validated and agreed in the receivership of the above resolved companies.
Short messaging service (SMS) from the Receiver is sent to depositors due for payment, setting out the account number and cash amount due them. Based on this, customers can access funds at any CBG branch by showing any of the valid identity cards — passport, voter ID or driver’s licence — to confirm their identity.
How we got here
In accordance with Section 123 of Act 930, the Bank of Ghana appointed Mr Nipah, a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an advisory firm, for purposes of winding down the affairs of 347 MFIs and 23 savings and loans and finance house companies whose licences were revoked on May 31 and August 16, 2019, respectively.
The government has made available to the Receiver of the dissolved companies a combination of cash and bonds totaling approximately GH¢5 billion to fully settle outstanding depositor claims.