Mbabane-The report that Members of Parliament (MP’s) have moved and passed a motion for government to ensure that members of a Ecsponent, a financial services company that is now known as ESW Investments Group be repaid their money has brought a sense of anticipation among many Emaswati. The money owed to the investors is approximately E 340 million.
Most of the people who invested in these financial services companies are elderly people who had worked for most of their lives in state owned enterprises such as the then Swaziland Electricity Board and the SAPPI Usutu Forest company. In an attempt to ensure that they accrued some profit from their terminal benefits. Emaswati invested in these financial services organisations and companies.
The strange thing about people deciding to use non-banking financial institutions to invest their hard-earned money is that it became almost fashionable and scores of people registered with them. The drawcard or the pull factor towards these investment companies was the high interest from the investment. This ranged anything from 10% to 12.5%.
The other weird factor is how the same companies either changed their names almost sporadically yet retaining the same board and management members. This strategy has made it difficult for the investors to recoup their money and as a result as a nation it will be interesting to see if the motion moved and passed by parliamentarians to get Ecsponent to repay the investors money will actually see the light of day.
In response to this question, Mbuso Gamedze the Head of Stakeholder and Consumer Affairs at FSRA said “the FSRA being the regulatory and supervisory authority for the non-bank financial services sector is in constant contact with the management of ESW Investment (formerly Ecsponent) in a view to resolve the concerns which were raised by the investors regarding their investments with the entity. Further, the FSRA has enhanced the supervision of ESW and the entire sector to ensure stability, safety and soundness of the sector”
Gamedze further added that “the FSRA is cognisant of the motion raised in Parliament regarding the issue of the ESW investors and is willing to assist through providing information as and when required by the parliamentarians. This can be information in our possession, information we can obtain from ESW t5hrough our supervisory powers and further information from relevant Supervisory Authorities through Mutual Agreements in place.”