Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The acquisition of Union Homes Plc, a subsidiary of Union Bank Plc by Aso Savings and Loans Plc has thrown customers of the financial house into financial crisis due to their inability to access their savings running to several millions of Naira.
The distraught depositors, who are wallowing in serious lack and want are lamenting their relationship with the bank, pleading for intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bail them out of the problem.
The customers, who shared their experience with journalists in Ibadan over the weekend, explained that the sale of the Union Homes Plc by its parent body, Union Bank Plc in 2013 to Aso Savings and Loans Plc led to their predicament , accusing the present owner of the bank of lack of commitment.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the customers, who disclosed that his fund trapped in the bank could not be less than five million Naira (N5,000,000.00) maintained that Union Bank Plc had handed off everything since 2015.
According to him, “The acquisition of the Union Homes Plc by Aso Savings and Loans process actually started in September 2013 and was completed in February, 2015, but, the new owners have been silent on the fate of the numerous customers inherited in the acquisition process.
“The question everybody is asking now is the whereabout of the several millions of Naira if not billions inherited as a result of the acquisition or is the Aso Savings and Loans Plc telling us that it only inherited asset and no liabilities?
“Expectation of everybody when the Aso Savings and Loans Plc acquired the Union Homes Plc was that the new buyer would open their offices to people, inject funds and people would be able to transact business with them, but, nothing has happened since then.
“Yet, people are suffering and even dying due to their inability to access their savings, at least, the essence of saving is to become handy when the need arises. Unfortunately, here we are, what we laboured for and keep for the rainy day is being denied us”, the customer lamented.
While calling on the CBN as the regulatory body to intervene the way it did recently in the case one of the commercial banks (names withheld), the customer said “it is only by that that the confidence of the customers will not be eroded”.
It was gathered that the CBN had given Aso Savings and Loans Plc two deadlines, December 2015 and March, 2016 with which to pay up all the depositors, but, despite not meeting the deadlines, the apex bank had not done anything to force the management of the financial house to toe the path of honour.
Efforts to get the reactions of two Assistant General Managers (AGMs), Mrs. U.H.Talabi and Esther Mogha, said to be inherited by Aso Savings and Loans Plc from the Union Homes Plc proved abortive as they duo did not respond to calls put across to them.