SME Bank depositors to lose 75% of their cash

People who had money in the liquidated SME Bank can expect to get some of it back next month, but that is where the good news ends.

27 August 2020 | Banking

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Depositors who held money with the now defunct SME Bank have been told that they should expect to receive 25 cents for every N$1 they had deposited with the bank.

This follows a meeting held with the bank's liquidators last week to inform depositors about the payouts they are expected to receive.

The Master of the High Court recently informed the depositors that they would be paid out by September and the amounts could increase if the liquidators were able to collect more from creditors. “We still did not receive our money. The Master of the High Court has been blamed because they were supposed to inform us but they did not. We have been informed that we will be paid from September,” said one of the bank's depositors, Daniel Nyaungwa.



Effects still being felt

Acccording to Nyaungwa, his college did not only lose the money it had collected from tuition fees but also grants received from the Namibia Training Authority.





The impact of this meant that he had to lay off six of his employees while he was also accused of being reckless with money that belonged to the college.

“The impacts of the closure of the bank are still being felt. The working capital money we had saved with the banks to cover salaries for at least six-months was lost, all that money is gone. That money also came from the NTA and it seemed like we were being careless,” he said.

A maximum cap has been set at N$25 000 that businesses and individuals are expected to receive, which he says would not be possible.

“Many small businesses will not get in excess of N$25 000,” Nyaungwa reasoned.



Money promised

Liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren were authorised to pay out up to N$25 000 to each creditor at the date of the bank's liquidation and as indicated in the creditor's bank statement on 11 July 2017.

Elsie Beukes, Master of the High Court, states in her founding application that there are 23 259 claims to be made, to the combined value of over N$1 billion.

Beukes says MetBank and World Eagle are being given the opportunity to voice their concerns about the decision to pay out the SME Bank creditors although they are not fully paid-up members or shareholders of the SME Bank.

MetBank and World Eagle had outstanding membership and shareholding fees of N$121.5 million and N$20.2 million (plus 20% annual interest) respectively by July 2017.

The creditors, liquidators and fully paid-up shareholders (who are also members) of the SME Bank, or their representatives, are entitled to inspect the claim documents during office hours at the Master's office.

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