Financial Sector Cleanup: 1,300 Depositors Receive Payments From Receiver

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The Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG) has said as of the close of work on Tuesday, it had credited the accounts of about 1,300 customers of defunct savings and loans companies (S&LCs), microfinance institutions (MFIs) and micro-credit companies with the full amounts of their deposits that were locked up in the institutions prior to their collapse last year.

The figure represents the first batch of customers whose claims had been validated by the Receiver, Eric Nana Nipah, and passed on to CBG for full payment of their deposits, according to the Head of Corporate Communications at CBG, Dr Anita Oppong.

Dr Anita Oppong explained that the affected customers were largely institutions and organisations whose funds were locked up in one or more of the more than 400 specialised deposit-taking institutions (SDIs) that lost their licences last year.

She also explained that although the total amounts of customers’ deposits had been lodged in their accounts, the institutional investors would require the signatures of their chosen directors and other key management staff who had been designated as signatories to the accounts before they could access the deposited funds.

She was hopeful that individual customers would start receiving messages on the crediting of their accounts in the coming days, in line with the schedule developed to pay them off.
Giving a breakdown of customers whose accounts had been credited, Dr Anita Oppong said about 1,009 of them were customers of the 23 S & LCs that collapsed.

The list comprised 449 social organisations and welfare institutions, 408 companies and 152 rural banks and finance houses that were customers of the defunct companies.

Also, there are 259 customers of MFIs, comprising 132 social and welfare organisations, 32 rural banks and finance houses, 50 financial security entities and 45 companies.
She explained that the remaining 30 customers were companies and institutions that were customers of the defunct institutions.

The commencement of the payment of the locked-up funds of the customers is the final leg of an exercise that began last year, after the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had revoked the licences of the S&LCs, MFIs and micro-credit companies found to have breached various aspects of the law.

Following the revocation of the licences, the BoG appointed Eric Nipah of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the Receiver to take charge of the assets and liabilities of the S&LCs and MFIs, validate the claims of their customers, sell the assets and use the proceeds to pay off the creditors, including depositors.

It also informed the Registrar-General Department’s about the revocation of the licences, in line with the law on the winding up of businesses other than those into deposit-taking.
Following the actions, the government approved that each customer of the affected institutions be paid a flat amount of GH¢10,000 to cover the deposits that were locked up in the companies prior to their collapse.

The amount was later reviewed upwards to GH¢20,000, before it was finally agreed that each customer be paid the full amount of the funds held up in the affected institutions.

In a statement issued last Monday, the Ministry of Finance said it had released GH¢5 billion to CBG to be used to settle the full amounts deposited by customers of the affected institutions.

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