A Financial Economist, Dr Lord Mensah has expressed doubt about the ability of the receiver of the now defunct 347 microfinance companies, to be able to pay all the affected depositors their full principals in addition to their interests.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) had earlier indicated that it had secured about one GHC 1 billion to begin sanitising the country’s struggling microfinance sector.

But in an interview with Citi Business News, Dr. Lord Mensah said the higher than normal interest rates usually promised by Microfinance Companies will make it impossible for the Central Bank to honor its promise to depositors.

“The interest rates that some of the Microfinance companies were parading on their deposits were so huge that I don’t think Bank of Ghana would be ready to absorb them. So we should expect the BoG to reduce the interest rate for some depositors and that of course will have an impact on the confidence of these depositors as far as the financial system is concerned.”

Receiver to pay creditors within a month

All persons entitled to claims from any of the collapsed microfinance companies should expect payment at least from the next one month.

It will however follow the completion of validation for such claims by the Receiver, Eric Nana Nipah of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The latest directive was contained in a statement issued by Mr. Nipah. Per the mandate of the receiver, all persons and institutions entitled to payments by the affected companies are expected to complete proof of debt forms with relevant documents to back the claims.

Upon receipt of these documents, the Receiver is expected to validate the claims before he can initiate payment. But such payments are expected to be effected after thirty days of receiving the claims.

“Creditors will be required to submit their claims by completing a PoD form to be designed by the Receiver. In filling these forms, Creditors will be required to attach relevant documentation supporting their claim(s) as well as amounts owed to them,” portions of the statement said.

It added, “the Receiver estimates that the process of validating and agreeing Creditor claims will take another 30 days from the date of the deadline for the submission of Creditor claims.”

Meanwhile the Receiver says it is currently assessing the state of affairs of the microfinance institutions in order to ascertain the types and values of their assets and liabilities.

This is expected to be completed within ten days.

“It is the intention of the Receiver to conduct an assessment of the state of affairs of these institutions in order to ascertain the types and values of assets and liabilities of these microfinance companies as at the commencement of receivership. The Receiver estimates that this assessment will be completed within the next 10 days.”

The Bank of Ghana, on May 31, 2019 revoked the licenses of three hundred and forty-seven microfinance companies and thirty-nine micro credit institutions for being insolvent.

The move follows a similar one carried out by the regulator in the banking sector over the last two years.

It is amongst others to sanitise Ghana’s financial sector by protecting depositor funds and renew confidence.

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