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22.03.2019 Business & Finance

First Allied Customers Threaten Massive Protest

By Mohammed Zunurene || GBC Sunrise FM
First Allied Customers Threaten Massive Protest

Some aggrieved customers of First Allied Savings and Loans at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region have hinted of their plans to hit the streets in a massive demonstration if the company does not release their locked up funds.

This came up during the “Kabi” segment of GBC Sunrise FM’s Morning Show.

According to the customers, although they have very pressing financial needs to attend to, all attempts to access their money in the past months have been fruitless as the company keeps making excuses.

“The mangers should come out and tell us something or else we will advice ourselves. For months now, we have not been able to withdraw our own hard earned money, our own sweat. What at all is going on?”

An angry Barkisu, a trader at the Nkawkaw central market, bemoaned.

Dakrop3, another worried and disappointed customer from Kumasi Dekyemso pleaded with the government to intervene in order to get the company to release their funds to them.

“I find it difficult to understand this. I need money to pay rent and my children’s school fees, yet I cannot withdraw it. They keep promising us but whenever you go there, they tell you there is no money. We are pleading with the government to help us retrieve our money because we are suffering” He said.

It will be recalled that in September last year, some over 500 aggrieved customers of the same company stormed the various branches in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to demand their savings but were left stranded. An attempt to present a petition to the Bank of Ghana (BOG) branch in Kumasi could also not materialize because they were directed to send it to the head office in Accra. Although they later proceeded to present their petition to the regional security coordinator, on behalf of the minister, it appears no concrete action has been taken to address their concerns.

When the Nkawkaw branch of the First Allied Savings and Loans company was contacted on phone, a lady respondent who failed to give her name, attributed the situation to the panic withdrawal that hit the financial sector last year. She explained that the company has arrived at a deal with some investors and expressed the hope that things will normalize once they come in. She, however, could neither provide the name of the said investors nor the date the supposed partnership is scheduled to take off.

Commenting on the intended demonstration by the customers, she said it is within their rights to demonstrate as a way of registering their displeasure, but urged them to exercise restraint and not to end up causing damage to lives and properties.

The financial sector in Ghana has been fraught with a no “money syndrome” since late last year, as customers struggle to recoup their locked up investment.

Aside First Allied Savings and Loans, financial institutions such as GN Bank, GN’s Gold Coast Securities etc. have also been in the news for all the wrong reasons with regards to customers’ funds.