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Include us in bailout for customers of collapsed fund mgmt forms – Coalition of Aggrieved Customers

Customers of Blackshield Capital Management Limited, formerly Gold Coast Fund Management Limited (GCFM) yesterday appealed to the government to include them and 24 other companies in the bail-out programme scheduled to commence by December.

The bailout is a package in the form of social intervention by government for customers whose funds were locked up in collapsed fund management firms.

At a press briefing in Accra yesterday by the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of collapsed Fund Management Companies (FMCs), the Public Relations Officer for the group, Charles Nyame said, the decision to exclude them in the bailout was “unthinkable,” as they formed majority of the affected customers.

“It is unthinkable to say the least, that GCFM customers should be sidelined in government bailout package, especially, when we from majority (82) based on unjustifiable reasons by SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission),” he said.

“We call on government to rethink their decision and include customers in the bailout package, since advancing bailout package to GCFM customers does not amount to an interference in the court process between the regulator and GCFM,” he added.

Some affected customers of GCFM, mainly, pensioners’ expressed their frustration over the locked up funds, indicating that it has adversely impacted their businesses and livelihood.

Seventy-year person living with disability and a mechanical engineer, Wilson Antwi told the Ghanaian Times that substantial portion of his pension fund has been locked up in the company, a situation which is affecting his daily living.

“The money locked up is the bulk of my pension fund and this have been my money for a very long time. My wife fell very ill and passed away on February 8, this year. I had to borrow money to give her private burial,” he said.

“I am appealing through this medium, particularly to president Akufo-Addo who always say he’s a Christian and believes in God to have sympathy on me and all the people who have their money locked up,” he added.

A seventy-seven year fashion designer and a widow, Naa Gyamfi, who was in tears throughout the interview also said, “May God have mercy on us so that the president will have inner feeling as a father of the nation to come out and do something because, we are dying.”

According to SEC, the decision to exclude Blackshield Capital Management Limited in the bailout package was because; it had partial access to its records for validation, in addition to challenging the revocation of their license in court.

“Blackshield Capital Management Limited has filed a case in court seeking a review of the AHC decision. Hearing of this case commenced on July 28, 2020 and would resume after the legal vacation,” SEC stated in a press statement last Friday.

“The Commission had partial access to records from Blackshield Capital Management Limited, as it provided excel data representing about 3% of claims filed by their clients,” SEC added.

While calling on the religious and traditional leaders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to intervene, the group has indicated that it would embark on a demonstration this September to further register their displeasure.

BY FRANCIS NTOW

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