Monday, March 10, 2014

Runaway Microfinance Institutions, Threat To Well-Meaning Credit Unions

If you have ever been robbed of your savings by the same microfinance institution you trusted, you possibly are not alone in the depressing memories that often come with such disappointments. 

This is because reported cases of this nature are, no doubt, also of far-reaching effects even on some financial establishments of good reputation. Some organisations have lamented the effects, with the Bolgatanga Teachers Cooperative Credit Union being the latest to do so. 

According to the executives of the Union, it is has been increasingly difficult for well-meaning credit unions to earn public trust because some past encounters with fraudulent savings institutions have left victims with a lesson to look elsewhere to protect their investments.  The Board Chairman of the Union, Roger Bombande, raised this concern in an interview with newsmen during the Union’s Annual General Meeting held in Bolgatanga.

“We have some unscrupulous groups,” said Mr. Bombande, “who come into the system and claim that they are collecting daily savings. When we were trying to go round with the mobilisers at the initial stages, we realized that there was a big challenge there because most of the people we call susu operators had run away with their monies. But ours is a credit union that is recognised nationally. That has actually brought a big challenge because when we go round talking, they think we are all the same; so, many are expressing fear and they don’t want to join us to be part of this.”

Mr. Bombande also encouraged the general public, particularly workers who have their salaries coming through the Controller and Accountant’s General payroll, to join the Union, saying it is in their own interest that they prepare for the future. 

“When we go to the financial institutions, like the banks and other macro-finance institution, we realise that what we pay at the end it is so exorbitant. And we are saying that we have to come together as a family because when you compare the interest rate, ours is nothing. We want to appeal to all those who are captured on Controller and Accountant General payroll― be you a nurse, a prisons officer, a policeman, whatever you do once you are being captured from Controller― we asking that it is high time you joined this credit union because it is very beneficial and helpful,” he added.

The Annual General Meeting, according to the Chairman, was held mainly for the leadership to render accounts to members on how the Union’s finances were managed in the previous year.

By Edward Adeti

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