45 dead over microfinance debacle

General News of Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Source: classfmonline.com

DKM Microfinance LTDCustomers gather at DKM offices

Minority Members of Parliament say about 45 clients of some microfinance companies in the Brong Ahafo Region, have died, as a result of frustrations they endured in their failed attempt to retrieve their investments worth about GHS1billion from the firms.

At a press conference organised by New Patriotic Party MPs in the Region, the lawmakers said they want the Bank of Ghana to ensure that DKM Diamond pays surviving clients their investments and accrued interest, God is Love, Care for Humanity and Perfect Edge microfinance companies.

MP for Sunyani East, Kwesi Ameyaw Kyeremeh, said on Monday that even though the central bank audited the companies and ordered them to pay their clients, they have refused to do so.

“There’s desperation everywhere…the impact is major, businesses have collapsed, people are dying because they put all their lifetime money in these companies, and they are not getting any returns on their investment,” Mr Kyeremeh told Joy FM’s Dzifa Bampoe.

He wondered whether the Bank of Ghana did due diligence before licensing the firms to operate as microfinance companies, and said the central bank and the government must play a major role in prosecuting the owners of the firms and retrieving the investments of the clients.

“As far as I know for now…there is no attempt to prosecute anybody yet, but individual customers have engaged lawyers, who have taken some of these companies to court to recover their money… we want to see the state’s involvement in this,” Mr Kyeremeh added.

Meanwhile, the MPs say they will be summoning before Parliament, Finance Minister Seth Terkper to provide answers concerning the situation. They have also threatened to drag the Government and the microfinance companies to court if they do not get involved in efforts to retrieve the investments for the affected clients.

In May this year, the Bank of Ghana placed a four-month moratorium on DKM for violating the Banking Act. It further sanctioned the firm to inject Gh¢ 50 million before it could be allowed to operate. The moratorium was waived to allow the firm to pay its clients what they are due, but that has still not happened. The lawmakers say the situation is having a telling toll on the clients who have lost millions of cedis.