Financial Times

Troubled Okanda Finance seeks liquidation

Some 800 depositors, with no hope of seeing their life's earnings are in a quandary after unregistered and failed finance company, Okanda Finance sought liquidation through a civil case filed in the Colombo High Court.

The case, filed in June,will be taken up for hearing on November 16. Disgruntled depositors, many of them who are middle level income earners, have formed an association to exert pressure on the Okanda management to repay their money amounting to Rs 48 million.

Some months back, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank rejected the application of Okanda Finance for registration as a finance company as it had failed to comply with the necessary requirements.
Issuing a notice to the public the Central Bank said that such a registration would be detrimental to the interests of its depositors and creditors. The Central Bank also directed the company to repay the deposits accepted from the public.

The permission has been granted to them to sell their assets for this purpose. Okanda Finance however sought liquidation which several depositors fear would be a ruse for the directors to sell the assets while the case is going on. “Their intention is to buy time to hoodwink depositors and to get away with their money,” one depositor said.

Depositors have urged the authorities to prevent directors of the company from leaving the country and to take stern action against those responsible for cheating them of their money.

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