Aggrieved customers of GN Savings at Tongor-Dzemeni in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region, have given two weeks ultimatum to management of the company to pay them their investments or face court action.
The customers, most of whom are fishermen, fishmongers, farmers and market women said their businesses have collapsed due to the locking up of their funds in the company since last year.
They said they could not take care of their homes or pay school fees, with a few being threatened with divorces.
At a press conference at Tongor-Dzemeni, Mr John Abotsi, spokesperson for the customers, said the situation was also having a negative impact on the local market, which served as source of livelihood for most women in the area.
“Most market women cannot go to the market to transact business again because the company is sitting on their investments. The vibrancy of the market is dying with joblessness,” he stated.
Mr Abotsi said last year, the bank had issues with liquidity and informed customers that efforts were being made to rescue the bank, and must be given some time to pay investments back.
He said, “it’s been almost a year since the crisis, and we are yet to receive refunds of our monies, although we made several attempts.”
Mr Abotsi said the company was deliberately turning a blind eye to their plight, although most of them invested their hard earned monies, including loans acquired from other banks to fund their businesses.
He said, “We considered the failure of the bank to refund our investments back to us as unjust, inhuman, wickedness and a total infringement on our rights as citizens of this country.
“The bank is taking advantage of the national crisis to rob us of our toiled earnings, having desisted from refunding us our investments. Trust had been betrayed and the management has clearly displayed lack of concern for its customers who placed unwavering faith in it,” he said.
Mr Abotsi said government’s approach to the cleaning up of the banking sector, though commendable, had ended up getting customers in sudden state of loss, desolation and despair.
He said customers did not deserve the neglect suffered during the financial shake up, and urged the government to put measures in place to ensure that banks reimbursed customers before “ water begin to seep into their boats”.
He appealed to the government as a matter of urgency, to come to their aid to retrieve their investments and also take the necessary steps to ensure that the banking sector purge did not burden the people unduly.