Finance & Guarantee Company Ltd. (F&G) is the latest Ceylinco Consolidated group company in which depositors are facing problems collecting their interest payments.
According to some depositors who contacted The Sunday Times FT, they were told to come back on several occasions to collect their interest payments but each time, left empty-handed and told to come back on another date. Depositors added that the company told them the hold-up has been caused by the fact that they are not getting their money from their day-to-day business which involves leasing, property development amongst other. F&G's total deposit base is said to be around Rs.3 billion.
According to the Ceylinco website, the company engages in property development activities and offers a range of financial services such as leasing, hire purchase, housing loans, educational loans, jewellery, financing and consumer loans. F&G was taken over by Ceylinco Consolidated after it was marked for liquidation some years ago and according to the website, it is an approved finance company by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB).
F&G's Deputy General Manager of Finance Priyantha Dharmasiri told The Sunday Times FT that the company is in fact honouring their depositors. He did however say that they are undergoing some difficulties and that there have been some delays but they are negotiating with their customers. He also said he met with the CB Governor on Tuesday and was assured by the CB that it would protect the customers by guaranteeing their deposits. "We have given the customers dates and we have given them a payment plan," Mr. Dharmasiri said. "We have a lot of assets and the CB wanted to purchase these assets on behalf of the customers and repay the depositors."
Mr. Dharmasiri added that the Golden Key matter has affected all the Ceylinco Group companies. "We have invested a lot of money in finance and real estate products. Overnight, we can't get the recoveries done because they are paying in installments," he said. "If everyone comes to withdraw money at the same time, we can't do that."
Mr. Dharmasiri said the CB is closely monitoring the situation. "Very soon within one or two weeks, this situation will ease," he said. "Customers can do their transactions without any problems." He also said he could not disclose information on F&G's deposit base.