THE Bank of Ghana (BoG) has stated that it will not take up responsibility for the loss of deposits by customers of illegal microfinance institutions in the Volta Region.
“This is because those groups are neither banks nor licensed deposit takers and are, therefore, not permitted to take money from clients for safe keeping, let alone promise interest payments on the deposits,” said Mr. Bernard Otabil, Director of Communications of the BoG.
Mr. Otabil was speaking at a media briefing in Hohoe on Tuesday over the bank’s concern over the activities of illegal deposit takers in the Volta Region.
Some of the victims of the scam took to the streets of Ho a few weeks ago, demanding refund of their money from the BoG.
However, Mr. Otabil pointed out that a genuine microfinance institution licensed by the BOG would display their licence from the BoG.
“So, let it be known to the public that they must do business with only licensed institutions in the country, by first inspecting their license which must be displayed in their banking halls,” he added.
Mr. Otabil maintained that money deposits made at an unlicensed institution were at the risk of the depositor and as such the BoG would not be accountable for such deposits.
“Any savings interest rate which is abnormally higher than government treasury bill rates should be a signal that the potential risk is high, and remember the higher the return the higher the risk,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BoG has called on the media to vigorously support its efforts to curb the activities of the fake microcredit groups.
“Note that by the ethical standards in advertising, you are to ensure that companies that come to seek for any kind of promotion on your networks are properly authorised to engage in the products and services they offer,” stated.
Superintendent Stephen Boadu, Hohoe Divisional Police Commander who was present, said that none of the victims of the scam by two groups, Little Drops and Property International which operated in the region, had come forward to lodge a formal complaint with the police.
That, he said, was making it difficult for the police to trace the fraudsters and start investigations into the matter.
From Alberto Mario Noretti, Hohoe