About 500 customers with huge sums of savings with a financial institution in Sunyani are in a limbo following the freezing of its assets by the Bank of Ghana (BOG).
The customers are brooding over how their savings with Onward Investment Limited would be refunded to them.
The BOG in a statement issued this month explained that it took the action because it had not authorised the institution to take deposits or to engage in foreign exchange trading.
The statement said: �In December 2012 the attention of Bank of Ghana was drawn to the operations of Onward Investment limited, a company that took deposits from the public and ostensibly engaged in on-line foreign exchange trading.�
It added that the company, which operated branches in Accra, Kumasi, Sunyani and Techiman, initially offered interest rates of 25 per cent for a trading cycle of 42 days. In December 2011, the interest rate was raised to 35 per cent as a special Christmas bonanza.
The statement said the central bank had never licensed the company either to take deposits or to engage in foreign exchange trading and its operations were therefore unauthorised and constituted a serious danger to the public.
It explained that because of this the company was directed to cease operations and refund all deposits taken but it ignored the directives and continued to operate.
The activities (of the company) were consequently reported to the police, who proceeded to arrest three officials of the company on January 11, who are assisting in investigations, the statement added.
The statement assured the public that BOG is collaborating with the police to identify any assets of the company and the extent of the liabilities so as to determine the possibility of refund to customers.
Many of the customers of the company had thronged the premises of the company to make enquiries about their fate.
Mr Kwaku Duah, a photographer, told the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani that he got to know about the company�s operations through an advertisement on radio, with the attractive interest rates.
He said he did not hesitate to invest GHȼ10,000 when approached by a female marketing officer of the company and was extremely worried about the situation since the money was sent to him by a friend resident abroad for a project.
�It�s been a month since the investigations began but there has not been any new development as the Bank of Ghana claim they cannot reach the chief executive officer or some of the key officials of the company on phone and cannot be traced,� he added.
Mr. Duah blamed the BOG for allowing an unauthorised financial institution to operate four branches in the country before taking action and failing to advise the public not to deal with the corporate entity.
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