Aggrieved Customers of the defunct Gold Coast Fund Management have begun their 32-hour protest outside the Ministry of Finance, in demand of their locked-up investments.
The group of about a hundred is exerting pressure on the government to address their concerns.
According to the group, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not paid its members whose funds were locked up after their picketing in October 2023.
The group states that all efforts to retrieve the locked-up funds from the collapsed Gold Coast Fund Management Company have proved futile.
Some of them spoke to Citi News explaining why they took part in the protest.
“I had about GH¢200,000. I had an accident, so I thought I could save it there, and it would help me. But for about three to four years now, my children have not been able to go to school. They are due for university level, but I had to send them to learn a trade, and I cannot help it.
“They told us if Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia wins the primaries, they will pay us. We are hoping and forcing to get our money. For me, nothing is going on. I have been depending on my siblings for survival.”
Another unhappy customer said, “The government has locked up part of our money. In a high order, they don’t want to listen to us. We have to reconvene today; the money is huge and it’s affecting my life. I was a businessman, and because of the locked-up funds, I was in the house doing nothing. The government must listen to our call, heed our plea, and pay us.”
Another also said, “I’m 66 years old; what is happening is incomprehensible. Imagine me working half of my lifetime and investing my money with the view that when I come on retirement, I will use part of it for my upkeep because at that stage I can’t do anything anymore. And you sort of destroyed the investment I have made.
“The lie in the air is that they have paid us. And even President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes they used so much to pay us. He’s being misinformed, and that is why he comes on air and says strange things. The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has been misinforming him. It’s very disheartening.”
The Gold Coast Investment Fund Management Company is among the fifty-three (53) Fund Management Companies (FMCs) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the latter acting in accordance with Section 122 (2) (b) of the Securities Industry Act 2016, (Act 929) (SIA) revoked their licenses on 8th November 2019.
The decision is due to various regulatory breaches including their inability to return clients’ funds estimated at eight billion cedis (GHS 8 billion), and significant breaches of applicable rules that created risks to financial stability.
The licenses were revoked in accordance with the mandate of the SEC to protect investors and the integrity of the capital market.
In 2021, Parliament approved a GH¢5.5 billion to settle owed customers of fund management companies.
The funds are yet to be disbursed to the customers.