Aggrieved customers of Gold Coast Fund Management besiege company to demand deposit

Some aggrieved customers who besieged GCFM office yesterday .

Some aggrieved customers who besieged GCFM office yesterday .

Aggrieved customers of the Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM) yesterday besieged the head office of the Groupe Nduom Companies in Accra to demand payments of their investment locked up in the last few months.

The customers, said to have arrived in batches on Monday morning refused to leave the premises until their deposits were released.

When the Ghanaian Times got to the scene around 3:00pm yesterday, angry customers were seen hurling curses and insults at management of the fund for denying them their monies despite the assurances made.

Fuming, one customer who claimed to have been chasing for part payment of her investment since September to see her mother through medical treatment accused the company of bias in the payment of client’s deposits.

“Mr Nduom had assured us that though the company was in crisis, it would prioritise emergencies. My mum has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and I have used all my salary on her.

“I have been coming here since October when my investment matured for part payment (GH¢ 10,000), they requested for evidence of the situation which I have here and have provided them copies but no one seems to care, meanwhile, they are paying people, big men, who do not have pressing issues behind the scenes.”

She threatened to go at any length possible, to retrieve her money signalling that, “I don’t even want the GH¢10,000 anymore. I want all of my money because I can’t wait to see my mum die before they will accept a death certificate as evidence of her sickness.”

Another, Mark, who is unemployed, said he needed his money to pay for his son’s school fees at the tertiary level.

According to him, the company had in a letter addressed to customers informed them of seizing operations by a directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “but my checks at SEC reveals the order was to take effect from December 31, 2018 so where is our money?”

“We don’t even want the interests on our investments; we just want our base capital. I invested about GH¢ 84,000 and up till now, I haven’t received a pesewa and no one is minding us or telling us anything.”

Information picked up by the paper indicated that another customer who arrived at the premises as early as 5:00am had collapsed twice and resuscitated after waiting hours on end for his money.

As of the time of leaving the head office, the man (a pensioner) still refused to leave the company until he had received his investments, while the security was instructed to get him some food to eat.

Meanwhile the General Manager, Investor Relations of the Company, Benjamin Kofi Afreh in a telephone interview, attributed the delay in payment to bad investments and regulatory changes the firm was going through.

“We have made investments across the country in many governmental projects but the returns haven’t come in good time however we have made diligent efforts to pay clients as and when we get something coming in.

“We agree it may take a lot of time to deal with the challenge but we plead with them to exercise patience. We are here with them, we are going nowhere and hoping that between now till March 2019, we should make more payments as we comply with directives from our regulators so that no one loses a pesewa,” he maintained.

There has been uneasy calm in the country’s banking and financial sector in recent times following the clamp down on illegalities in the industry by regulators including the Bank of Ghana and SEC.

Aside seven indigenous banks that have been grinded to a halt, others, including Menzgold, GN Bank and GCFM have been hit by panic withdrawals from customers.

By Abigail Annoh

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