The head office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Accra is being inundated on a daily basis with complaints from aggrieved people who invested their lifetime savings in some investment houses but are now unable to redeem part or all of their investments due to liquidity constraints.
The complainants, who include pensioners and people who have retired prematurely as a result of occupational accidents, among others, have been forced to use SEC as the last resort to compel the investment companies to honour their obligations to them.
The GRAPHIC BUSINESS was told during a visit to the SEC head office on April 3 and 4 that some of the complainants have been chasing their investments for more than 24 months in some cases, but 13 months on the average.
However, those who have been able to lodge their complaints with SEC have been scheduled for hearing to enable the commission to take action.
Subsequently, they called for tougher actions, including the sale of the assets of the companies, to defray the debt owed them to avoid what they described as “premature deaths from heart attacks”.
Some of the complainants who spoke to the paper on grounds of anonymity looked visibly exhausted from the shock of not being able to redeem what they had worked hard to invest.
Some explained that they had saved over many years just to enable them to live a comfortable life after retirement.
“I have been chasing the two companies I placed my investments with for more than nine months,” a 62-year-old retired public servant told the paper.
“It’s not easy to set aside money from your meagre salary as investments but I did because I knew its value.
Today, see where I am.
“They came with sweet words and I trusted them because the returns they quoted for me was within range and, therefore, I had no cause to doubt them. At least I knew that if they quoted interests a little over the prevailing Treasury bill rate, that should be fine by me and I heeded,” she stated.
The retiree, a mother of three, described her ordeal almost in tears.
“I had my children when I was over 40 years so they are still in school.
Their father has passed on, so I am their breadwinner.
I made these savings for them to complete school but see what is happening to me,” she said as she dried her tears.