Monday, September 10, 2007


Promoters of some fund management firms held a crucial meeting in Lagos on Saturday, in what an insider described as an effort to safeguard the deposits of their subscribers.

The meeting, which was said to have been informed by lack of access to their accounts in banks, reportedly centred on how to persuade the regulatory authorities to soft pedal on the issue of fund management companies scattered all over the country.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission had commenced an investigation of the operations of investments companies otherwise referred to as ‘wonder banks.’

Consequently, some banks were said to have withheld the accounts of some of these firms, a decision which has reportedly made it difficult for them to meet their financial obligations.

Some of them were under pressure by their subscribers who derived payment of the payment of monthly interest on their deposits with the fund management firms.

Most of the ‘wonder banks’ have since closed shop with their offices under lock and key for months now.

Depositors with Pennywise, one of the operators, with office in Demurin Street, Ketu, Lagos, who went there on Friday reportedly met the place shut. The same trend occurred at the Airport, Ikeja, office of Treasureline.

A source, who was at the Saturday meeting said chief executives of the fund management firms present were disturbed by the reluctance of banks to release their funds.

“It was obvious they have been under pressure by their customers. But since banks are acting in a funny manner as far as the accounts of these firms are concerned, it has been pretty difficult for them to pay their customers,” the source said.

Banks were said to be hiding under the Know Your Customers policy to review their business relationships with the investment firms.

A spokesperson for one of the banks, however, exonerated them from the current ordeals of the investment companies, saying that the issue was that of the regulatory authorities who insisted on sanitising the finance industry.

Manwhile, the Managing Director,Wealth Solution, Mr. Bayo Oyediran in a confirmed the readiness of the management of the investment firms to pay their investors as soon as the issues with their banks were resolved.

He also pledged to ensure that everybody was paid this due to them as soon as all the issues were resolved.
- QUOTED VERBATIM : The Punch Newspaper Posted Monday, September 10, 2007

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