CIFL depositors continue fast
Depositors of the Central Investment and Finance PLC (CIFL) are
jittery and are continuing their fast at the premises of the now defunct
institution at Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo, until their deposits are
Agitated depositors who launched a fast last week said that they
would not budge until those responsible pay their deposits back to them.
"We trusted in CIFL which promised a high return for deposits but we
were let down badly," said a depositor.
Depositors handed over a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa
seeking his intervention to resolve the issue. Over 4,000 depositors
have been left in the lurch with no solution in site to their grievance.
Depositors said that all their appeals have fallen on deaf ears. CIFL, a
registered finance company ran into trouble early last year leaving
depositors high and dry.
Depositors are demanding either the interest or the deposits from
March 2013. They charge that they have neither been paid the interest
nor deposits since February 2013.
"We protested on several occasions during the past year to bring our
plight to the attention of the authorities," a dejected depositor said.
"We have resorted to a hunger strike since our action has not yielded
satisfactory results," he said.
An official of the Depositors' Association said that several rounds
of talks were held with the authorities but there was no satisfactory
outcome and as a result "we went to court.
The only thing we can do now is to meet the President."
Central Bank Deputy Governor B.D.W. Ananda Silva said that nothing
could be done until the court case is over and added that the program
launched by the Central Bank to rescue the company has also been halted
as a result.
The Central Bank appointed People's Leasing and Finance PLC as the
managing agent of CIFL last year under Section 25 of the Finance
Business Act No. 42 of 2011 which empowers the regulator to appoint an
institution to manage the affairs of a company which has been following
CIFL recorded a loss of around Rs. 31 million during the six months
ending in September last year. The company has been operating for around
46 years and was listed in the Colombo stock Exchange in 2011.
Financial experts said that the company had been managed in an
irresponsible and fraudulent manner. They said it is high time that more
stringent regulations are introduced to curb financial malpractices and
boost the confidence among depositors in financial institutions.
Confidence in financial institutions has severely eroded due to
All registered finance companies come under the supervision and
regulation of the Central Bank which publishes a list of all registered
finance companies and banks.