The ongoing liquidation process of DKM Microfinance has established that 87,000 customers of the defunct company are entitled to receive GH¢352 million.
This was after financial consultant to the official liquidator, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), validated the company’s liability of GH¢605 million to 87,000 depositors.
The liabilities were assessed mainly based on information from the microfinance company’s computer servers. However, the liquidator said it also received claims which were not captured in the company’s computer system and those claims were still being investigated.
According to the liquidator, its assessments were being hampered by the inability of directors of DKM to provide it a statement of affairs of the company as required under the Bodies Corporate (official liquidations) Act 1963, (Act 180). This does not provide a full peep into DKM’s liabilities and assets base.
Under the Depositor Transfer Scheme (DTS), the official liquidator has started making payments to about 74,000 depositors whose balances with the company were up to GH¢10,000; they will receive 100 per cent of their validated claims, representing about 85 per cent of the number of depositors.
However, 13,000 depositors, representing approximately 15 per cent of depositors, whose balances were above GH¢10,000, will receive in addition to the initial GH¢10, 000 a negotiated top-up payment ranging between 10 per cent and 35 per cent of their outstanding balances.
The liquidator has also instructed customers who missed their previous payment dates to contact the designated recipient bank (GCB Bank) in the Brong Ahafo, Northern and Upper regions before the end of September this year.
Customers lost their investments running into millions of cedis after the central bank in 2015 suspended the operations of the company for violating the Banking Act, Act 2004 (Act 673).
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) then confiscated the assets of the company and appointed the Registrar General’s Department to commence liquidation process on March 29, 2016 to refund customers of the company.
In an exclusive interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS, a partner at PwC, Mr Eric Nipah, who is assisting the Registrar General in the liquidation process, said negotiations between the liquidator and some depositors whose investments with the defunct company exceeded GH¢10,000 have failed.
“We held meetings with them last week (11th, 13th and 15th September) in Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions to negotiate settlement but some of them rejected the proposed payments so we said fine if they don’t want it there is nothing we can do,” he told the paper.
The liquidator has validated approximately 87,000 depositor liabilities amounting to GH¢605 million. These liabilities of the bank were mainly deposits accessed from the company’s computer server, but the liquidator also received claims which were not captured in the company’s computer system as of the date of liquidation.
Presently, though payments are being made to depositors under the DTS, the liquidation is progressing in a rather slow pace as assets attached by court judgements are being wrestled from the creditors who have attached them, after which they will be valued and sold.
“Most of the company’s assets (mainly chattels) were vandalised prior to the liquidation by irate depositors. Some assets mainly vehicles have been attached by depositors who have received court judgements against DKM. Our lawyers are pursuing court processes to have them released to the liquidator,” Mr Nipah disclosed to GRAPHIC BUSINESS.
PwC advised the government to intensify financial literacy training for the general investing public to enable them to identify and avoid risky investments.
It also charged the BoG to intensify its monitoring role, conduct proper due diligence on the directors, management and staff of financial institutions to ensure that investors invest with institutions managed by competent personnel using best industry practice.
The directors of the defunct company, the liquidator advised, should be made to face the law and punished if found guilty.
DKM was incorporated on April 3, 2013 and was licensed by the Bank of Ghana as a tier two microfinance company on October 25, 2013.
The balance sheet of DKM, as of May 11, 2015, showed its net liability stood at negative 21 million cedis.
The company at the time its license was revoked by the BoG on February 29, 2016 had 10 branches with two agency offices and six subsidiaries.
Though the central bank subsequently lifted the ban on the company’s operations, DKM was unable to pay its customers their locked up cash leading to the liquidation of the financial company.