The Ghana Securities Industry Association (GSIA) has appealed to government to increase the cash pay-out to existing fund management companies in the country to enable them honour their obligations to their customers.
According to GSIA, this will ease the current tensions among stakeholders in the industry.
The appeal comes days after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced that government will soon come up with a bailout package in the form of social interventions for customers whose cash had been locked up in defunct fund management companies.
A statement issued by the GSIA said, “government, through the Ministry of Finance, should urgently increase the proposed cash pay-out to fund management firms to levels that properly reflect its communication to the public, ensuring that about 96% of its clients are paid.”
It also explained that a promise by the government to settle persons whose cash have been locked up with defunct companies, while customers of existing firms struggle to access their cash sends a wrong signal.
“A commitment to pay clients of firms whose licenses have been revoked while customers of operating firms are still waiting for cash pay-outs sends the wrong signals to the industry; the pay-off for having a license revoked may be more than that for keeping an investment firm in operation,” the statement added.
Among other demands, the GSIA also called on the government to ensure a “revised public messaging that correctly captures the situation on the ground be released: that so far only GHS87 million out of GHS1.58 billion has currently been paid in cash to the sector. Updates to this position can then be made as any additional cash payments are made.”
They however noted that although the assurance of the bailout package by government was timely given the severe distress persons who invested their cash through these firms have been under, there is, “uncertainty regarding payment of their investments as promised by Government.”
“There is adequate cause for concern, however, on the lack of traction on pay-outs to clients of firms whose licenses were not revoked. To date, less than GHS90 million out of GHS1.58 billion due these investors has been paid in cash. This represents less than 6% of the total amount due. However, we are yet to realise the fulfilment of a promise by Government to pay up to 20% more in cash, leaving 80% in bonds. A commitment to pay clients of firms whose licenses have been revoked while customers of operating firms are still waiting for cash pay-outs sends the wrong signals to the industry; the pay-off for having a license revoked may be more than that for keeping an investment firm in operation,” GSIA noted.
It will be recalled that the Governor of the Bank of Ghana recently said government had settled over 95% of depositors of the collapsed Savings and Loans and Microfinance institutions “so there is just about 5 percent of depositors who have not been paid.”
But the GSIA states that the communication from various government sources has served to cause more worry in the sector as investors demand their cash from Fund Management firms who are still waiting for these funds.
Already, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has clarified that no customer will be excluded in government’s bailout package for persons whose funds have been locked-up in the 53 defunct fund management companies since November 2019.