Business Times

Ray of hope for GK depositors under new payment proposals

By Bandula Sirimanna

Shedding a ray of hope for disgruntled depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd, (GKCC), former directors of the collapsed company, have now come up with an alternative payment plan. This plan will be submitted to the Central Bank for its approval on January 18, informed sources said.
According to this repayment plan, all deposits at the rate of between 25% to 100% will be repaid within four years at 6% percent interest considering the amount and the period of deposits. Depositors who made deposits shortly before the collapse of the company will be given priority under the repayment plan, sources added.

President of Golden Key Depositors Society Anusha Emmert told the Business Times that they will hold meetings to create awareness on this plan among depositors and to get their consent. She said that this was the first time that the GK directors have stepped in to find some redress to them and the depositors should grab this opportunity. If the directors fail to make the repayment, they will have to go to jail, she said. Two years have passed since Golden Key crashed but depositors have so far received only a single repayment of Rs.100, 000 each. How long can they wait without money for their day-to-day living, she asked?

Dushyanthi Hapugoda, President of the GKCC All Depositors Association said that they are also fully endorsing this move which is based on the Central Bank Governor’s way forward plan. It will be beneficial for all depositors and no one should pay money to any GK Association to get their money or to obtain details of the plan as it will become a public document after the endorsement of the Supreme Court, she said.

The Attorney General’s (AG) Department is now in the process of making the final adjustments to the indictments to be filed against Lalith Kotelawala, his wife Sicille and other Golden Key directors for fraud, criminal misappropriation of funds and breach of trust, AG’s Department sources said.

The three-member Committee of Chartered Accountants will meet with the Golden Key directors and representatives of the two GK Depositors Associations on January 18 to discuss pros and cons of the plan, before presenting the document to the Supreme Court when the Golden Key Fundamental Rights (FR) case resumes on January 28, a senior official of the Central Bank said.

When the case was taken up in the Supreme Court on December 3, Justice Shiranee Tilakawardena, who heads the three-member bench, directed the Golden Key directors to submit the alternative repayment plan on the agreed date, January 18. A written undertaking given by the directors to the Committee was also placed before the Supreme Court. Justice Tilakawardena directed that every effort should be made to ensure that depositors are granted relief.

The former directors led by Kavan Perera, Deputy Chairman and CEO of this crisis-hit company which folded up in December 2008, had a series of meetings with Central Bank and Committee officials, Mangala Boyagoda, the professional fund manager appointed by the Supreme Court, and representatives of depositors in December last year before formulating the payment plan.

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