Ace investigator and anti-corruption journalist, Anas Amereyaw Anas, has been fingered in a fraudulent operation of a microfinance business without license and authorization from appropriate authorities.
Operating under the business name The Tiger Force Consult (with Anas Amereyaw Anas and Percy Dickson Boamah as directors), the company, which was registered in 2009 to operate as a debt recovery, debt consultancy and debt management entity, veered outside its licensed authority and has been operating as a microfinance company and giving out loans.
Anas is a shareholder of the Tiger Force Group Ghana Ltd, comprising Tiger Eye Private Investigations and Tiger Force Financial Consult Ghana Limited.
The company has now metamorphosed into Tiger Microfinance Consult and Tiger Force Consult respectively, with business interest ranging from private investigations, financial consultancy, micro financing, micro loan services, debt recovery, debt consultancy and debt management.
The operations of the Tiger Force Financial Consult later changed to Tiger Force Microfinance Limited with initial business structure of financial consultancy, micro financing and micro loan services.
However, per a special resolution filled on 14th May, 2012, the business structure was amended to include giving loans and taking deposits.
Contrary to its licensed mandate, however, Anas and his partner, Percy Dickson Boamah (with shareholding structure of 150,000 each), used Tiger Force Consult to grant loans to customers even though records at the Registrar General’s Department and other government agencies do not recognize the company as such.
The Registrar General’s response to a search about Tiger Force Consult in the 3rd quarter of 2017 stated the nature of business as “debt recovery, debt consultancy and debt management” with no indication of micro-financing as required by law.
Anas has won critical acclaim for his work advocating for basic human rights such as the right to not be held in human slavery or servitude and for his work exposing corruption. His investigative works have won him worldwide acclaim, including President Barrack Obama
Under The Bank of Ghana Requirements for Microfinance Institution Operating Licence, No person shall carry on the business of micro finance unless the Bank of Ghana licenses it.
It also stresses that a certified true copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and company’s Regulations or other Instrument, relating to the proposed business, or by or under which any person proposing to carry on such business was established. The registered name of the company should include either ‘Microfinance, Money Lending, or FNGO as the case may be or the type of licence being applied for.
Also, full particulars of detailed and clear definition of activities it proposes to carry out.
In pursuance of the provisions of the Non-bank Financial Institutions Act, 2008 (Act 774) and the Banking Act, 2004 (Act 673) as amended by Act 738, the Bank of Ghana Rules and Guidelines for the information of the general public and for compliance by all individuals and entities operating in the microfinance sub-sector.
For the avoidance of doubt, Rural and Community Banks (RCBs), Savings and Loans Companies and other financial intermediaries already regulated under the Banking Act shall continue to be so regulated.
All other intermediaries such as Susu companies and Susu collectors, money lenders and other financial service providers shall comply with this Notice.
- The taking of deposits and the granting of credit for whatever tenor constitutes regulated activity under the Banking Act, 2004 as amended and the Non-bank Financial Institutions Act. Except where expressly exempted in writing by the Bank of Ghana, persons and or institutions undertaking such activity require a license issued by the Bank of Ghana.
- All institutions or persons engaged in activities that involve deposit taking or the granting of credit shall obtain a license or an exemption from the Bank of Ghana before commencing or continuing such activities.