Some aggrieved customers of collapsed Gold Coast Fund Management Company say they have given the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a three-day ultimatum to pay their locked-up funds.
The defunct company, which operated under the registered name Black Shield Capital Limited, had over 55,000 customers whose funds were locked up before the regulator revoked its licence.
According to convener of the group, Charles Nyame, their members would do everything legally to make sure their monies are released to them.
Speaking to Joy Business at day one of the group’s three-day picketing at the premises of the SEC, Mr Nyame called on the government and the Ministry of Finance to investigate the matter.
He alleged that SEC had been misinforming the public on payment schedules even though parliament had approved ¢ 5 billion to be disbursed to customers who were affected by the financial sector clean-up exercise
“We will picket for the next three days with the expectation of getting our locked-up funds. Earlier, we had a closed door meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission but they didn’t give us any reasonable response so for us we will continue to picket for the next three days,” he said.
Recounting several failed promises, he stated that affected customers have received many assurances from government which are yet to be honoured.
“We hear information around that our monies have been paid but this is never true. They are just misleading the government and that is bad so we want the government to know that we are dying and have not been paid,” he added.
Mr Nyame appealed to the government to engage the Finance Ministry and the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter.
In February 2023, some of the customers threatened to sue the government over their locked-up funds.
According to the group, it has been four years since their investments got locked up with the company, which was regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“The lock-up of our investments was mainly due to the government’s policy of a Financial Sector Clean-up Exercise in Ghana initiated in 2018,” the group said in a statement.
They lamented that even though affected customers were assured of receiving their funds, none of them have been called to come for their monies.
“This discriminatory act on the part of the government is in contravention of the 1992 Constitution that requires the government to treat all its nationals equally without discrimination.”
The group argued that the decision by government to take over the debt and validating customers’ claims with an initial payment of ¢50,000 per each investment makes the government liable to the customers on the grounds of absorption of responsibility.
They pointed out that affected depositors would have taken action to retrieve their deposits in 2018, but held on with that as the government decided to take over the responsibility of paying them.
Picture: Mr Nyame