Gold Coast Holdings has assured its customers and the general public that their investments are safe and secured.
According to the company, it is making significant progress in transforming the Structured Finance product that thousands have benefited from to become an even more beneficial one.
The assurance comes after some customers of the company formed a group, called the Concerned Gold Coast Fund Management Customers petitioned the Bank of Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission and the presidency.
Below is the detailed statement:
Gold Coast Holdings wishes to inform our customers and the general public it is making good progress in transforming the Structured Finance product that thousands have benefited from to become an even more beneficial one. Details of this will soon be made available to all Ghanaians, including our customers.
The Company has over 800,000 customers and different products that are delivering excellent returns such as the Gold Mutual Money Fund and the Gold Fund Unit Fund. It is the Structured Finance guaranteed return product that has had some liquidity challenges since July this year.
The reason being that Gold Coast Fund Management (GCFM) decided to do the right thing by following the directive of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to all Fund Management Companies to stop offering products with guaranteed returns.
On October 18th 2018, the CEO of Gold Coast Kwame Ofori Asomaning issued an official statement informing customers of the new SEC directive. Parts of the statement read: ”Our regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has directed that all SF related products which guarantee return on investments should no longer be offered by Fund Managers and such positions closed by 31st December 2018. With this directive, and to ensure that you get good returns on your investments, we are re-structuring our investment products to give you value for money.”
Gold Coast had no choice than to make changes to its products & services by discontinuing the sale of its SF products from October 22nd, 2018. Our actions to do the right things resulted in a rush of withdrawals and an often aggressive demand by customers of funds invested.
We do understand the concerns some have that Gold Coast may disappear like some other investment houses have done, causing them to lose their investments. Our doors are open and will remain open for business.
We have responded to the customers’ rush for their investment by putting in place arrangements to secure customer funds and ultimately provide them the liquidity they are asking for. The company has publicized its plans to move SF customers to alternative products. The company has invested funds mobilized. Therefore, to be able to deliver the returns promised, it must make every effort to retain the investments it has made with customer funds.
Furthermore, Gold Coast has committed to paying interest/returns due to customers before the change was announced. About 3000 customers have been paid across the country who have demanded a return of their investments. The company has also informed the customers who insist on getting the funds back that it will implement a three year installment payment plan beginning on March 1st 2019 during which period, customers would be paid their monies.
We have also created a window within the period to cover the payment of people with genuine and verified medical emergencies. The company is thus spending several hours working with stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including our regulator, SEC to come up with solutions that we believe will satisfy customers.
In that regard we have written to our regulators notifying them of our decision to move customers to alternative products of their choice. This will first involve an initial validation of investments and subsequent transactions associated with each investment facility to ensure that the value printed on every certificate is accurate.
We hope to complete the validation process by the end of January 2019. Each customer will be required to answer a few questions to help determine their investment profiles and the responses to these questions will help customers choose the investment funds that best meet their needs.
Customers will then be provided with a number of investment alternatives to choose from including the following: infrastructure fund that are highly liquidity fund backed by commercial paper investments in government contracts that seek to return investor capital in shortest possible time. Customers will be given units in the funds equal to the value of their investment portfolio. Customers will be able to trade or sell these units to gain liquidity.