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PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE COALITION OF AFFECTED SAVINGS AND LOANS

CUSTOMERS (CASLOC)

Date: Wednesday, 15th January, 2020

THE PRESS STATEMENT

Ladies and gentlemen from the media, colleague members of the Coalition of Affected
Savings and Loans Customers (CASLOC), concern citizens and sympathizers present
at the moment. Good morning to you all. On behalf of the leadership of the Coalition, I
welcome you all to our second press conference since the formation of this Coalition.

As we said in our maiden press conference, which was held on Wednesday, the 11th
day of December, 2019, that the Coalition of Affected Savings and Loans
Customers(CASLOC), is made up of the customers or depositors of the 23 savings and
loans and finance house companies whose licenses were revoked by the Bank of
Ghana on the 16th of August, 2019; and our main aim and objective is to be a strong
and dedicated group that will engage government through all available legal means and
the best ways possible in retrieving all our locked up funds or monies in the nearest
possible future. We will like to reiterate that we shall continue to pursue this mission of
ours until our aim and objective is fully fulfilled.

First of all, we will like to express our profound gratitude to the president, His
Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for heeding our plea to pay all our locked
up funds as it was done for the depositors of the 9 defunct universal banks. If you would
recall, we said in our maiden press conference that just as human face was applied by
the government, by means of bonds and other measures so as to secure the funds of
depositors in the case of the 9 collapsed universal banks by migrating the deposits of
customers of two of them to the GCB Bank and the remaining 7 being consolidated to
form the now Consolidated Bank Ghana(CBG), same should be done for those of us in
the savings and loans and finance house companies as well as the microfinance and
micro-credit institutions.

This petition of ours has been heeded by the president by directing the Ministry of
Finance to work with the Bank of Ghana, to ensure that we are also paid fully of all our
locked up funds. To quote the president in his Christmas and New Year’s message to
the nation, he said and I quote, “We have to take painful, but necessary measures, to
sanitise and save the banking system, a process which, I know, has brought discomfort
to many a household. It is worthy to note, however, that the jobs of some six thousand
five hundred (6,500) workers were saved as a result, instead of the ten (10,000) that
could have been lost, in addition to the protection of funds of 4.6 million depositors.
Thus far, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have worked together to
guarantee payment of 100% of deposits of customers of the failed banks, which is being
done. I have directed the Ministry of Finance to work with the Bank of Ghana, to ensure
the same applies to customers of microfinance and savings and loans companies,
whose licenses have been revoked.” End of quote.

We will also like to thank the government and its key institutions and officials, such as
the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Ghana, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori
Atta, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, the Receiver, Mr. Eric
Nana Nipah and his staff for ensuring that affected customers or depositors of GN
Savings and Loans, Unicredit Savings and Loans and First Allied Savings and Loans
Company Limited have started receiving their locked up funds, despite the court issues.

In as much as we are thankful to the president, the government and its institutions and
officials for heeding our plea to pay us fully of all our locked up funds, and ensuring that
customers of First Allied, GN and Unicredit have started receiving their locked up funds,
despite the court issues, we are still not happy at all about a number of issues
pertaining to the payment procedure or formula being used in the payment of our
monies to us. Some of the payment issues we are very much displeased with include,
the slow pace, in other words, the tortoise or snail pace, in which the payments are
being made, the use of text messages for the payments and the GHS20,000.00 capped
payments for customers whose deposits exceed that GHS20,000.00 amount.

If the president said he has directed the Ministry of Finance to work with the Bank of
Ghana, to ensure that we are treated like the customers of the 9 collapsed universal
banks, then, in order to believe fully what the president said, we want the current
payment procedure to be changed or revised in order to ensure the immediate retrieval
of our locked up funds. We don’t want the situation whereby a customer has to wait till
he or she receives a text message from the Receiver before he or she can have the
right to visit a nearby branch of CBG before he or she can have access to his or her
locked up funds, and in some cases to only some part or portion of his or her locked up
funds. Here, we are referring to the capped amount of GHS20,000.00.

By this, we want a Consolidated Savings and Loans Company and/or a Consolidated


Microfinance Company to be set up and all our accounts migrated and credited fully
there, if only the current Banking and Specialized Depositors Act will permit that. And
even if it does not permit that, we appeal that all our accounts are migrated to an
existing universal bank or banks, possibly the Consolidated Bank Ghana(CBG),
because that is where currently all the payments of affected customers are being made
through, and our accounts being credited fully over there, and maybe some restrictions
about withdrawals attached to them for sometime, until all the required bailout funds are
secured by the government, whereby depositors can be rest assured of receiving the
full payment of their locked up funds as promised by the president in his Christmas and
New Year’s Message to the nation. We want to see that this has been done for us latest
by the end of January, 2020. Failure to do this for us will compel us to advise ourselves.

If this current trend of payment should continue, then, no customer is aware of exactly
when he or she is going to have access to his or her locked up funds. A little research
conducted by CASLOC indicate that this same payment procedure was and is still being
used to pay the customers of the defunct DKM Microfinance Company who are less
than 100,000 in number. It’s been over 3 years now, and only about 80% of them have
been paid. Affected customers in the savings and loans and finance house companies
as well as the microfinance and micro-credit institutions are over 3.3 million in number.
So, if this procedure should continue without revision, then, by using simple
Mathematical calculations of Ratio and Proportions, the Receiver and his staff will need
about 132 years to finish paying us of all our locked up funds. And this is totally
unacceptable!

But by heeding to the above appeal of ours, then, a huge number of affected depositors
can have some access to our locked up funds simultaneously across the length and
breadth of the country in order to help us meet a whole number of basic needs which
confront us at the moment and any point in time. This is because some research
conducted by CASLOC indicate that the pains and sufferings being endured by us and
our dependents and businesses as a result of the financial sector clean up exercise
cannot be overemphasized. There have been reports of some of our members dying
because they could not access their locked up funds when urgent medical needs arose.
Talking about the psychological trauma and the inability of most depositors to take care
of themselves, their families and dependents cannot be ignored. Some have even been
ejected from their apartments by their landlords and landladies due to their inability to
pay for their rents which are overdue. Some have had their children and even
themselves dropped out of school due to the lack of funds. Some cannot afford three
square meals a day, some marriages have collapsed, some customers have resorted to
prostitution, armed robbery and some social vices as a result of this financial sector
clean up exercise. The painful aspect of this is that, some of these sufferings, pains and
predicaments have spanned for over a period of one and half years now.

The least said about the businesses of some market women and other professionals
which were jeopardized in this process, the better. When you go to most of our rural
areas, market places, such as the Kumasi Central Market, the Makola Market in Accra ,
Takoradi Market Circle, Kotokoraba Market in Cape Coast, etc. industrial areas like here
in Suame Magazine, Koforidua Magazine, Abossey Okai in Accra, and so on, most of
the inhabitants of these crucial business enclaves are ardent depositors of these
collapsed financial institutions, such as First Allied Savings and Loans Company
Limited, GN Savings and Loans and Unicredit Savings and Loans, just to mention a
few. Can we just imagine the kind of rippling effect that these locked up funds can have
on all these businesses of theirs?

We would like to bring to the attention of the government the negative effects this
financial sector clean up exercise is now having on the existing savings and loans and
finance house companies, the microfinance and micro-credit companies, the rural and
community banks, and even the indigenous privately owned universal banks. Most
Ghanaians, of late, are afraid to deposit their monies in the above mentioned financial
institutions, and as a result are rather withdrawing their monies from there to the state
owned and foreign owned universal banks, and some changing theirs into forex and
keeping them than depositing them in any bank, thereby leading to the poor
performance of the Cedi against the major foreign currencies, especially the dollar. This
indicates the trust which is being lost gradually by the citizenry in the above mentioned
financial institutions, and if care is not taking to enable the affected customers of these
collapsed financial institutions access our locked up funds as early as possible, then, we
are afraid to say and predict that there is the possibility of a collapse of some of the
existing institutions in this sector of our economy. We don’t want to be Prophets of
doom though.

Another issue of concern has to do with the effects of the financial sector clean up
exercise on the political fortunes of this ruling government. A little survey conducted by
CASLOC also indicate that voter apathy is crippling into us and our dependents,
because of our inability to access our locked up funds. Over half of us can be said to
have had very strong affinity with the ruling party in government previously. This affinity
can be seen to be dwindling as a result of the untold hardships being experienced by us
as a result of the financial sector clean up exercise. We have observed that same as the
issue of DKM and the likes, which involved less than 100,000 customers could send the
NDC into opposition in the December 7, 2016 general elections, likewise can this
financial sector clean up exercise, which involves over 4.5 million customers also send
the NPP into opposition in the upcoming general elections of December 7, 2020. The
government should be aware that the negative effects of this financial sector clean up
exercise have consumed almost all the benefits and the good achievements of this
government, hence, the massive hardships being experienced by the majority of the
citizenry. We therefore appeal to the government to expedite the payments of these
locked up funds early enough to help in regaining these affinities back from these ardent
members of his sometime ago.

We want to use this opportunity to call on the churches, cooperate bodies and
organizations who have their funds locked up with these collapsed savings and loans
and finance house companies and the microfinance institutions to join us as we engage
the government through every possible means and avenue in retrieving our locked up
funds. We also want to call on the directors and shareholders of the rural and
community banks in the country to come out boldly on this issue, because our checks
indicate that the majority of the rural and community banks in the country also have their
funds locked up in these collapsed financial institutions.

Again, we want to call on the Council of State, Parliament, the Former Presidents, the
National House of Chiefs, the National Peace Council, the Catholic Bishops Council, the
Christian Council, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, the National Chief
Imam and Opinion Leaders in the country to add their voice to the issues pertaining to
our locked up funds in order to help us retrieve them from the government as soon as
possible, since the effects of the non-payment of these monies are far reaching and
devastating, not for the affected customers alone, but the entire country as a whole.

At this juncture, we wish to express our utmost appreciation to you, the media, for the
kind of seriousness you attach to our issues, especially our maiden press conference
which was held right here on Wednesday, the 11th day of December, 2019, thereby
making it go viral even beyond our imagination. We also want to thank Hon. Kennedy
Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central and his wife Mrs. Stella Wilson Agyapong for
allocating every Friday morning on their television station, NET2, only for discussions
pertaining to our issues, Mr. Abedi-Anim and Mr. Christian Donkor and their production
team of the Dialogue Show on NET2 TV, specifically, Financial Friday. May God richly
bless you all. We believe that today’s press conference will also be giving the needed
prominence and attention even than the previous one, and not only our press
conference, but any other issue or issues pertaining to our locked up funds or monies in
order to help us retrieve them as early as possible, because affected depositors of
these collapsed financial institutions are dying slowly every now and then.

Thank you very much to everyone present here at moment for honouring our invitation.
May God richly bless us all... Amen!

Kofi Sarpong - Chairman of CASLOC


(0543440260 / 0268954111)

Ezekiel Annor Akagbo - Secretary of CASLOC


(0243874772 / 0200701020)