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Business News of Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Source: classfmonline.com

Customers chase African Guaranty Trust microfinance for deposits

Managers of the African Guaranty Trust Microfinance Limited have failed to pay withdrawals to customers even though clients have been chasing the firm for months.

The company, which has branches in Madina and Achimota, among others, has shut down its offices and officials cannot be traced although some customers have secured default judgement in court to retrieve their funds.

Mr Osman Alhassan, counsel for one of the victims, Veronica Mawutor Agboto, told Class91.3FM on Tuesday, 7 August 2018, that his client has over GH¢47,000 locked up with the company.

“At a point, people [customers] were going for their returns and they [officials of the company] were referring them to come the next day. Before we realised, they have closed their offices and the next thing I heard about them was that Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) was investigating them [but] nothing came out of it. Now, even if you Google African Guaranty Trust Microfinance Limited, nothing comes up. They have closed down their offices, I have initiated a suit against them on behalf of my client, they never entered appearance though they were served and now how to enforce the judgement [is a problem]," he explained.

Meanwhile, customers of the Tamale branch of First Allied Savings and Loans Company, besieged the financial institution Tuesday morning to also demand their deposits.

Northern Regional Correspondent, Jamal Deen, reported that a false alarm linking the First Allied Savings and Loans Company to former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, resulted in huge panic withdrawals by customers.

This was shortly after the Number 12 documentary by Anas Aremeyaw Anas was aired in which some officials were caught on camera taking bribes.

Mr Nyantakyi was heard in the video saying he owned a microfinance company and members of the public linked him to the First Allied Savings and Loans Company which resulted in panic withdrawals.

The reporter explained that the situation posed a challenge to the management of the bank who suspended operations for a while.

The rest of the depositors were given a 25 August 2018 deadline due to unavailability of funds because the company had invested in Treasury Bills.

He said the customers were not happy with the explanations and they decided to storm the premises of the company to demand their savings on Tuesday.