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Depositors can’t retrieve money from liquidated rural bank

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Depositors of the collapsed Tano Rural Bank in Asutifi District of Brong Ahafo are distraught because they do not have the means to retrieve their deposits.

Most of the depositors, who number in the hundreds, are landowners and farmers whose lands were acquired by Newmont Gold Ghana Limited, which paid their compensations into the various agencies of the bank in the area.

Tano Rural Bank was one of two rural banks in Brong-Ahafo liquidated about three years ago for non-performance. The other bank was Tano-Agya Rural Bank.

A number of the affected depositors, who are at their wits end told the Ghana News Agency at Kenyase Number Two that all efforts made to retrieve their monies had proved futile.

The defunct bank had agencies at Kenyase Number One, Kenyase Number Two, Gambia Number Two, Hwidiem and Ntotroso, all within the mining area of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited Company.

A reliable source told the Ghana News Agency at Kenyase Number Two that Newmont Company paid the compensations by cheques through the bank’s agencies as the company wanted the beneficiaries to plan and put the monies to good use.

Madam Theresa Pomaah, a 60 year old farmer, expressed regret about the situation, saying she had been able to retrieve only 1,800 Ghana Cedis (in three instalments of seven hundred, five hundred and six hundred Ghana Cedis) of her 7,000 Ghana Cedis deposit, through a lawyer.

She appealed to the authorities of Bank of Ghana to assist in the payment of the rest of the deposits, which were the life-time savings of the affected people.

Leaning on her husband, Madam Pomaah brooding over the situation, said some aged depositors had died out of shock and cautioned that more of them would suffer the same fate or be reduced to paupers if the authorities do not save the situation.

Some others who preferred to remain anonymous said depositors at the Ntotroso agency of the bank were most affected as their deposits run into hundreds of millions of old cedis.

They confirmed that some of them had engaged lawyers for the retrieval of their monies but to no avail.

Later explaining the situation to the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani, Mr. Collins Offinam Takyi, Administrator of Brong-Ahafo Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB), said in line with banking rules and regulations the Bank of Ghana had in consultation with ARB applied the 90-day banking facility to see if the two rural banks could “turn the situation around”.

But, Mr. Takyi added, when at the end of the 90-day period it became apparent that the affected banks could not perform in order to survive, the central bank rightly applied the banking penalty rule by withdrawing their operating licenses.

The administrator said depositors at the Ntotroso agency of Tano Rural Bank, which was liquidated as far back as 2006 had already been compensated or paid in line with the Liquidation Banking Law.

Mr Takyi said their counterparts at Kenyasi Number One and Two, however, would have to wait for sometime for payment of their monies since it was only two weeks ago that Bank of Ghana appointed Sunyani-based Gyabaah and Partners to work on the liquidation process.

Still on the mode of payment of affected depositors Mr. Takyi said in such circumstances, certain percentage of Liquid Assets of the bank concerned were used to pay depositors.

As a liability company, shareholders lose whatever they have invested upon the collapse or liquidation of the bank, he added.

Source: GNA

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