“We are here to facilitate and to ensure that they (depositors) are provided the relief that they are longing for,” Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Minister of Sri Lanka said today at a meeting held with Golden Key depositors.
The Golden Key Credit Card Company collapsed with debts of 26 billion of which 12.7 billion is capital and 13.2 billion is interest according to initial findings of a Supreme Court appointed committee of chartered accountants.
The committee had said two sets of accounts were found and some assets have already been mortgaged to other parties, complicating a liquidation process.
Golden Key ran a ponzi-style high yield investment scheme which did not have enough revenue generating cash flows to sustain the high yields promised to investors.
Directors of the firm including Lalith Kotelawala were imprisoned and now are now out on bail and the whereabouts of Kotelawala's wife is unknown.
All the depositors who were present at the meeting agreed to withdraw the court cases but asked a written assurance.
All the cases are to be taken up on 18 May 2015.
“We will give this in writing at the court when all the cases are withdrawn and there on wards it is the Central Bank dealing on your behalf,” Karunanayake said.
He said the depositors who had less than two million will get paid less than one month while the depositors who had deposits of 10 million will get paid less than two months and the balance will get paid in less than one year.
However there was a request by a depositor asking to pay one million rupees for all the depositors in the first month.
“We will look that and agree upon it go forward,” Karunanayake said.
“This is the only way that innocent depositors will get paid as much as they can.”
He said there will be a committee formed there after representing 15 depositors, co-opted by the governor with a management team and with an auditor to go to every single consumable asset known and unknown to the Golden Key to trace and probe.
The cost will borne by the Central bank.
“If we get more than what we can get which was agreed, that all benefits will be given to the depositors,” Karunanayake said.
“There won’t be single benefit that will be taken by the Central Bank all costs here on wards until the matter is fully closed will be borne by the Central bank.”