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Gov’t agrees GH₵50,000 refund to failed investors on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

Director-General of the SEC, Rev. Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh

Customers affected by the revocation of licences of some fund management companies could receive their locked-up funds in the coming weeks as government authorizes the release of GHC50,000 as a partial bailout.

This was confirmed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which stated that it would be used for all customers of the remaining affected firms as court process on the liquidation petition and other matters continue.

SEC said the decision was taken on “social and humanitarian” grounds based on government’s commitment to protecting citizens and the plight of affected clients which has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This partial bailout would cover a total of 92,460 claims filed against the remaining 27 Fund Management Companies, out of which Blackshield Fund Management Company Limited accounts for a total of 84,656 (92%) claims.

Claims filed by individuals, including pensioners, is 86,506 with Gold Coast Fund Management Limited, now Blackshield Fund Management Company Limited, accounting for 80,018 (92.5%) of these claims.

“Based on the validated claims, the partial bailout being offered would result in 89% and 82% of affected individuals and pensioners being fully settled respectively,” SEC said in a statement.

“Validated claims in excess of the partial payout amount shall be covered after the liquidation proceedings in court, in line with the terms being applied under the bailout package for the clients of the Fund Management Companies currently under official liquidation,” SEC added.

The regulator explained that the intervention has become necessary because liquidation petitions for the remaining affected Fund Management Companies are currently at different stages.

In addition, some affected Fund Management Companies like Blackshield Fund Management Company Limited are contesting the liquidation petition and as a result, have filed a Stay of Proceedings until its application for judicial review of the decision of the Administrative Hearings Committee has been heard.

“There is the possibility for these legal processes to take some time and, therefore, extend the pain and suffering of the affected investors hence this decision by the government,” SEC noted

The partial bailout shall be channelled through the Amalgamated Fund Ghana Limited, the same Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) being used to pay the clients of the Fund Management Companies currently under official liquidation.

Amalgamated Fund Ghana Limited is managed by GCB Capital Limited, a subsidiary of GCB Bank Limited.

Background

The SEC, acting in accordance with Section 122 (2) (b) of the Securities Industry Act (SIA), 2016 (Act 929), revoked the licences of 53 FMCs on November 8, last year, as part of a general financial sector clean-up.

Eight of the firms appealed against the revocation decision to the Administrative Hearings Committee (AHC) but only three were successful.

Following the revocation of the licences, the SEC took certain actions to protect investors.

They included notifying the Registrar of Companies/Registrar-General to petition the court for orders to commence the official liquidation of the 53 FMCs under the relevant law, as well as the appointment of an agent to take copies of records and lock up premises to secure the assets of the affected companies.

It also mandated the agent to receive claims from the clients of the affected companies, acknowledge receipt of same and also validate the claims.

The Official Liquidator of the Fund Management Companies, the Registrar-General, started paying off an initial bailout for some of the customers whose claims had been validated.

However, no action could be taken for clients of Blackshield Capital Management Limited, Firstbanc Financial Services Limited, Apex Capital Partners and Ideal Capital Partners Limited.

The firms had filed applications in court to challenge the revocation of their licences by SEC.

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