The Managing Director of FundTrust Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Chief Silas Ifeanyi, has stressed the importance of integrity in the discharge of financial services to the public.
Chief Ifeanyi, who spoke to newsmen after the end of a two-day road show in markets in Onitsha to celebrate three years of successful operation of the Cooperative Society by his company, said some who engage in thrift business were not sincere but “pure fraudsters”.
He said: “They just come into the business to defraud. Their initial intent was not to serve anybody. Some just came to steal”.
The former General Manager of a bank said this dishonesty is also found among the customers, saying that integrity and honesty are very expensive as some people who took loan default, necessitating the change in their strategy.
Chief Ifeanyi said they have demonstrated enough integrity and trust in the last three years they have been in operation, hence the huge confidence reposed on them by their ever increasing customers.
He said in the last three years, the company has moved from one branch to 10 branches located in various markets in and around Onitsha with about 150 staff.
Chief Ifeanyi said his company was set up to bridge the gap in financial services delivery and to serve the people at the lower rung of the ladder.
He said: “We deal with the unbankable, people banks don’t talk to. We go to them and take their money and give them their money whenever they need it. We also give them loans. These are artisans, market women. We provide financial services to the poor. We give all sorts of loans, property loan. We mop money up and bring them to the bank. We provide services no bank can provide. We go and collect money and deliver it whenever they want it”.
Chief Ifeanyi, who lamented the high mortality rate in the business, however attributed it to people who came into the business as money from customers was their capital.
But for the company, he said, they regard deposits as liability as they have their own capital they operate with, stressing the need for Governments to educate the people about the danger of fraudulent thrift business by some operators as well as regulate the market since there is lack of regulation of the market now.
Chief Ifeanyi equally stressed the need for the training of staff to ensure effective service to customers which is one of their core values.
“Our customers are the reason we are here. We tailor our business towards the need of our customers. This has worked. In three years we have broken even. We intend to expand beyond Onitsha to Enugu, Abuja, Lagos, where we will be partnering with the locals. We are planning to introduce ATM cards. We have plan to take the business bigger than what we are doing now,” he said.

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