Banking cleanup: Go beyond talk; pay customers – Mahama to gov’t

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The flagbearer of NDC has urged the government to speed up the process leading to the refund of monies belonging to persons whose funds have been locked up following a recent financial sector cleanup, has reported.  

Speaking during an interaction with the leadership of the Coalition of Affected Savings and Loans Customers (CASLOC), bankers and fund managers, Mr Mahama among others, urged the government to go beyond lip service and pay affected customers what is due them. Many of these people are suffering, he noted.

The Bank of Ghana sponsored the financial sector cleanup which saw the licences of 53 fund management firms revoked Friday. 

This comes after the closure of 10 banks about a year ago. This was followed by the closure of 347 Microfinance Companies and 28 Savings and Loans companies.  

The workers from these institutions are now hopeless and require some encouragement. 

Addressing them, former President Mahama said the two previous NDC administrations deliberately encouraged more Ghanaian participation in the financial sector, expressing regret that the clean-up has affected mainly local institutions.

“We promoted indigenous participation in the financial sector because we realised that the sector was dominated mostly by foreign interests, big foreign banks…we said that this sector was such an important sector, so Ghanaians should participate in it,” he stressed.

Explaining further, President Mahama said the microfinance and savings and loan companies helped in expanding the participation of indigenous capital in the sector.

“Specifically, the purpose for that was to improve small and medium enterprise lending because the big banks were not attuned to SME lending,” he added.

According to President Mahama, before the change of government, the NDC administration had begun working to streamline the activities of the local banks, leading to the passing of the Depositors Insurance Scheme and other bills. Institutions that were operating out of their permitted remit were also given a two-year window within which to regularise their operations.

He lamented that if the process had not been truncated immediately the Akufo-Addo government came into office, coupled with the huge increase in the minimum required capital to GH¢400 million, many of the Ghanaian owned institutions would not have been closed down, people would not have lost their jobs and deposits would have been saved.


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