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Gov’t says it cannot help affected depositors

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 3
The government of Georgia has released a statement regarding the case of Financial Company Georgia, which last year left about 2,648 people affected, owing them 76 million GEL.

The statement reads that the state cannot compensate the losses of the depositors which were demanded by them during a number of protest rallies, saying this is a dispute between two private subjects.

“The compensation of the loss is the obligation of the financial company itself,” the statement added.

The statement went on to say that the National Bank of Georgia has many times warned citizens not to invest their funds in the financial institutions which are not regulated by the state.

The government issued the statement after one of the depositors tried to commit a suicide during the rally on June 30.

“We urge the affected citizens to refrain from using extreme forms of protest and to wait for the investigation and the trial,” the government said.

In December last year, Tbilisi City Court sent two chairpersons of the finance company - the director of Georgia Finance Company, Tamaz Lobzhanidze, and company manager Merab Peradze - to pre-trial detention.

Peradze, the company manager, said it was Georgia’s National Bank which had created problems for the company after which Georgia Finance Company could no longer pay interest rates to its depositors.

He added there were "political interests” behind this. However, he did not specify exactly what he meant.

The fact that the people put their money in the company was due to a more than 30% annual interest rate they received for their deposits.

The company leadership says if they stay in prison for too long, they will never be able to return the money.

Moreover, the managers’ property is not enough for returning the invested money to depositors, as their current properties had been mortgaged.