The management of Multi Credit Savings and Loans Company has indicated that its business is genuine and it is has been fully registered with the Bank of Ghana and incorporated into Ghana Company’s Code.
It said the company recently closed down by the central bank and published in the media is called Multi Credit Micro-Finance and not Multi Credit Savings and Loans, which is the one in operation.
The Chief Executive Officer of Multi Credit Savings and Loans, Mr Kwabena Kese, told the Daily Graphic in Accra that the publication in the media about the closure of Multi Credit Micro-Finance created some panic at its offices in the Central Region, leading to customers besieging the company’s premises.
“Most of our customers thronged the offices to confirm the veracity of the situation while some threatened to close their account,” he said.
According to Mr Kese, after the company explained its position to them, they accepted and left “but we do not know what is happening in their minds, hence our coming out to set the records straight.”
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“Multi Credit Savings and Loans is well capitalised to do any business within its remit,” Mr Kese said and urged customers not to panic about the situation.
He added, “when we noticed the one closed down, we notified the central bank about it because they used our name and corporate colours to deal with unsuspecting members of the public.”
Mr Kese said the situation was under control and noted that “we will continue to do genuine business because we are in the country for the long haul.”
Seven micro-finance companies in three regions were closed down by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for failing to meet licensing requirements.
Consequently, the companies were directed by the bank to refund all the money collected from their numerous customers and stop operations forthwith.
The financial entities are Unity Trust Micro-finance in Somanya, Multi Credit Micro-finance in Cape Coast, Busy Fingers at Nima and Mfa Micro-finance at La, both in Accra.
The others are Equip Susu Micro-finance, Emends Micro-finance and Divine Micro-finance, all in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Kofi Wampah, had told the Daily Graphic that the BoG had earlier in 2011 given the micro-finance houses up to July 2012 to regularise their operations.
“By June this year, the micro-finance houses had not secured operating licences from the BoG, to which they had been directed to refund depositors’ money and cease operations, while reporting themselves to the regulator regularly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BoG has cautioned the public to desist from dealing with micro-finance houses whose licences from the BoG are not boldly displayed in their offices.
The bank has categorised micro-finance houses into four tiers and each group is required to meet a certain minimum requirement.
Those in the first tier, which comprises the normal savings and loans companies, are required to meet a minimum capital of GH¢7 million to operate.
Tier two refers to micro-finance companies which mobilise savings and grant credit to the public and they require a minimum capital of GH¢100,000 to operate, while Tier three entities which do savings mobilisation or money lending must have not less than GH¢60,000 as minimum paid-up capital.
Individual susu collectors who constitute the fourth tier are only required to join an association in order to operate.
Officials of the BoG believe that the micro-finance landscape in Ghana is one characterised by unbridled and indiscriminate springing up of micro-finance institutions (MFI), with virtually no supervision.
Story by Charles Benoni Okine