Microfinance companies are assuring Ghanaians of a more robust industry after the major clean-up of the industry by the Bank of Ghana.
They want Ghanaians to trust and continue to do business with them as they have learned from past mistakes and have put in place measures to ensure the safety of customers’ funds.
The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC), Tweneboah Kodua in an interview with Citi News said, but for the banking sector clean-up started some two years ago, some of the collapsed Savings and Loans companies were serving their customers without challenges.
“We want to continue to engage the public to continue to trust the system we have built over the years. Some of the companies who went down operated for more than 20 years and had served without any issues but for what happened within the last two years,” he said.
Mr. Tweneboah Kodua was commenting on an AfroBarometer survey that found that Ghanaians consider microfinance companies to be unsafe to do business with, unlike universal banks.
According to the survey, 58 percent of Ghanaians feel banks are a very safe place to keep their savings.
A further 25 percent felt banks were somewhat safe with 8 percent and 7 percent respectively saying banks were not safe and not safe at all.
On the Savings and Loans front, 61 percent of Ghanaians feel they are either not safe or not safe at all.
Microfinance companies were given a vote of no confidence with 64 percent saying they are either not safe or not safe at all.
Seventy-two percent of Ghanaians generally felt their mobile money wallets were safe.
But Tweneboah Kodua said microfinance companies will continue to do their best to ensure that monies of their
Whatever we need to do to make sure that their monies are safe for them to be able to still do business with us, we will do it.”
“We will continue to give assistance and support to the private sector, SMEs and individuals. We are not going to stop doing the good things. We have learnt a lot of lessons over the period and we want to assure the public that the savings and loans fraternity is stronger and better than ever before.”
Locked up funds
While addressing the issue of customers whose funds are locked up with the closed down microfinance companies, he said part of the delay in the payment is due to the ongoing court case between the receiver and the Bank of Ghana on one side and shareholders of some of the collapsed microfinance companies.
“If the court is not ruling on the cases or the shareholders who took the cases to court do not withdraw the cases for the receiver to continue to serve the public, then it is a natural thing that majority of the customers will not be able to have their monies,” he said.
In line with the Banking sector reforms, the Central Bank in May revoked the licenses of 347 insolvent microfinance institutions.
The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) is instituting investigations into directors of over 65 of the collapsed Microfinance Institutions in receivership.
The directors are to be investigated on their individual roles in the use of depositor funds.