F&G depositors still awaiting payment
THURSDAY, 14 JULY 2011 00:00
By Jithendra Antonio
Depositors of two unregistered real estate companies of collapsed Finance & Guarantee (F&G) group say, not a cent of their dues were settled, since appointing a Board of Trustees to liquidate company assets nine months ago.
Speaking to Mirror Business, a depositor of Property Developers Ltd (PDL) of F&G group, Ranjan De Silva said, the trustees alone were paid over Rs.6.48 million as remuneration since appointment.
“According to trust laws pertaining to land and trust deeds, depositors have rights to know the amount the trustees are being paid, and Supreme Court only granted the approval to pay them an honorarium” De Silva pointed out.
The move came in to lime light after Union Bank of Colombo (UBC) recently announced that it decided to take a controlling stake in former Ceylinco owned collapsed finance company The Finance & Guarantee (F&G), for a consideration of Rs.600 million.
Back in August 2010, Depositors of F&G Property Developers Ltd. (PDL) and F&G Real Estate Co. Ltd. (RECL) set up two Boards of Trustees with five key persons common to both, in order to expedite the repayment process, disposing assets.
The five key persons include former Chairman- Lankaputhra Development Bank, Sarath De Silva, former Chief Valuer & Chairman- Valuers Association, S. N. Wijepala, former Auditor General, S.C. Mayadunne,
former Commissioner of Inland Revenue B. D. U. Jayanetti, along with four depositors (two each from PDL and RECL.) former Chief Accountant- Central Bank, Lionel Katuwawela, Finance Manager- Alliance Development Trust, T.D. Nesakumar (representing RECL), former President- J. Walter Thompson (Pvt) Ltd., Ms. Nalini Goonetillake and Member- Depositors Association, Ms. Chanda Nalini (representing PDL) were appointed as the Board of Trustees.
However Ranjan De Silva said that the above individuals had been paid over Rs.720,000 per month, whilst Finance Manager-
Alliance Development Trust, T.D. Nesakumar has returned part of the money that was paid to him after other depositors inquired about the issue.
“We have completely lost trust in these people we appointed to represent us.
They have betrayed us” De Silva lamented, accusing that Board of Trustees had used the remaining company funds to pay themselves.
At the time of the agreement, the Board of Trustees also signed Trust Deed documents with the Directors of F&G Subsidiaries, including Mervy Jayasinghe, K.A.S. Jayatissa, Mala Sabaratnam, Mohan Perera and four others. However, Chairman- F&G Group of Ceylinco, Lalith Kotelawala didn’t turn up for the event.
It is said that both companies which were unregistered financial institutions of F&G have accumulated a liability of approximately Rs. 8.2 billion to date from 4,100 depositors, and the Board of Trustees were appointed to determine how the properties and assets are to be disposed from time-to-time at the highest value (after a revaluation of the total assets).