Bank Customers Swindled! �No Trace Of Years Of Savings As Bank Shuts Down

OVER ONE thousand customers of Fanteakwa Rural Bank Limited in the Eastern region are up in arms with the management of the bank for failing to pay their outstanding debt of more than four hundred thousand cedis being daily contributions and Susu savings of customers. The situation is such that most customers are fuming with rage because their investments and monies have been locked up for the past five years without any trace. Checks have revealed that four branches of the bank have been closed down with management members abandoning post and leaving the fate of the customers in limbo. The bank started its operations in the region around 2004 and has headquarters at Begoro with four different branches in Koforidua, Suhum, Osiem and Anyinam. Currently, all the other four branches except that of Begoro have been shut down with notice pasted on the door post by house owners warning management to vacate the premises within 21 days or face court action. In an interview with the DAILY HERITAGE over the weekend at Suhum, a group of customers numbering about 100 lamented that for the past 10 years, Suhum has suffered more than five different cases of banks and microfinance companies running away with people�s savings. The customers said when they went to the only branch of the bank currently operating; they were told that they were not customers of that branch. They said, when Fanteakwa Rural Bank Limited started operations in 2009, a lot of people were confident that the bank being a liability company will not just collapse, so many people moved their savings and withdrawals from different banks to save there. The spokesperson of the group, Owusu Ansah Agyeman said the confident level was then high which attracted several customers within a short period to save with the bank. �We heard the rumour that the bank is about to be liquidated, by then some of us had already deposited some amount of money so we decided to go and withdraw our money, but they kept on giving excuses each day,� he stated. He said the Begoro branch is the only one existing because some teachers and other government workers withdraw their salaries from that branch. Mr. Agyeman said the group is in the process of compiling names of victims at the Suhum branch and have so far received over 500 customers with monies ranging from GH� 2,000.00 to GH� 20,000.00 belonging to individuals locked up. Daily Heritage investigations conducted at the bank�s website named Kwabena Amankwah Asiamah, the current Member of Parliament (MP) for Fanteakwa North of the Eastern region as the board chairman. However, all attempts to speak with the MP over the issues have proved futile. He will not reply text messages sent to him, as well as calls to him. Other management members of the bank the paper contacted declined comment and insisted that they have left the bank. Another check at ARB Apex Bank headquarters indicated that Fanteakwa Rural Bank has been liquidated since 2011. The victims are, therefore, calling on the Bank of Ghana to intervene and call the management of the bank to order for a refund of the savings of the hundreds of customers.