The receiver of the defunct microfinance and savings and loans companies is set to begin payment of claims of ex-staff of these institutions.

A statement from the receiver, Eric Nana Nipah of PricewaterhouseCoopers said tracing the assets of the defunct companies have been difficult due to asset diversion among others.

“The consequence in pursuing this recovery route is that creditor claims including employee related claims in the resolution of the affected MFCs and S&Ls are not likely to be settled any time soon,” he said.

However, “the Bank of Ghana has agreed to pre-finance full settlement of employee related claims which otherwise rank as unsecured claims in the receiverships of these companies,” the receiver said.

This, according to statement, is to help ameliorate the economic impact of the resolution exercise on former employees of these affected companies; “particularly in these times of Covid-19.”

“The Receiver will in the week commencing Monday, July 13, 2020 engage with the authorised representatives of the ex-staff to agree on modalities for the payment of outstanding salaries and exit packages to ex-staff of these resolved institutions.”

“In line with the hierarchy of creditor claims set out under Act 930, other creditors of the failed institutions will be settled by the Receiver upon validation of their claims and to the extent that the Receiver is able to realise value from the remaining assets of these institutions.

“Please note that the Receiver will only fully settle outstanding salaries and exit packages of ex-staff which have been duly validated agreed and in the resolution process,” the statement said.

Banking sector cleanup

The Bank of Ghana revoked the licenses of 347 Microfinance Companies and that of 23 Savings and Loans and Finance House Companies in 2019, citing insolvency, mismanagement and fraud in some cases.

The exercise was part of the financial sector clean up by the central bank which also saw some eight banks losing their licenses between 2017 and 2019.

The government justified the cleansing exercise, arguing the banks would have, otherwise, collapsed, and with them, the deposits of more than a million clients.