COACECSS Credit Union DEPOSITORS could lose savings ?

COACECSS Credit Union
Apr 29 (3 days ago)

to undisclosed recipients

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Partners fear for their deposits. Coacecss must cope with $95 million in claims, which includes deposits of Panamanians and foreigners.

29/04/2013 – Depositors and savers of the cooperative savings and credit employees of the Caja de Seguro Social (Coacecss) have uncertainty and recommend caution about the liquidation process of definitively closing the doors of the cooperative, which has received for many, their life savings.

Melissa Cerceno, Coacecss depositor, expresses a question that she shares with several of more than 4,000 people in her position. She wondered if the liquidation will benefit all parties alike, without depending on its status as an associate or third party.

Savers not associated with the cooperative have around $84 million in deposits with Coacecss while they share a portfolio of loans less than $6 million.

Ana Giselle Rosas de Vallarino, Executive Director of the Panamanian autonomous Cooperative Institute (Ipacoop), entity responsible for monitoring the process of liquidation and appointing two of the three members of the liquidation Committee, stated that “the cooperative has to honor the commitments that were registered in book”, without distinguishing between partners and third party savers deposits.

The cooperative under the settlement must deal with about $95 million in claims, which include deposits of former employees of the Caja de Seguro Social who trusted their savings to the cooperative, and retired U.S. citizens who viewed in Coacecss, a profitable place to deposit their savings.

Although the cooperative has about $112 million in assets, the Comptroller, Martha Luna Veliz, pre-discharge, explained that an important part of those assets is composed of the portfolio of loans issued by the cooperative.
These loans, valued at more than $80 million, remain around 33% of non-performing loans, percentage that continues to increase while the team responsible for the cooperative makes efforts to collect as much as possible.

This would put in doubt the ability of the liquidation team to respond to all registration claims. The methodology for this situation of matching deposits with claims would be developed by the liquidation Committee to be named.

This team would be composed of two persons designated from Ipacoop, which according to Vallarino de Rosas have already been named, and one of the Federation of cooperatives of savings and credit of Panama, still pending.

Meanwhile, depositors and partners, such as Bernadette Billock, have doubts about the liquidation process, including deadlines and requirements for recovering funds now frozen with the cooperative.

In response to this, Ipacoop explained that after being named, the liquidation Committee, will have the obligation to publish, for five consecutive working days, a notice of liquidation of the cooperative in a national newspaper.
After this, it will open a period of thirty days within which both partners and third party depositors may submit their claims to the liquidation Committee, which could be established at the offices of Coacecss, in the Via Simon Bolivar.

Roses of Vallarino said that the Commission has the obligation to comply with deposits that are registered in the books of the cooperative, as well as complying to the process of filing claims to include savers whose deposits are not properly registered. Therefore, depositors should, locate and make available their vouchers, records, books and other documents that can verify a financial relationship with Coacecss.

To the uncertainties surrounding the liquidation process, in part by the high non-performing loans of its portfolio, associates and third parties have decided to create nodes for sharing information and theories regarding this, including web pages, Facebook groups and mailing lists.

A saver, who preferred not to reveal his name, said that one of the major concerns of depositors is the time that has to elapse before you can receive your funds once again.

“You go to Coacecss and nobody knows anything. It is very sad. I need my money for health procedures and I cannot have it until they indicate so. They do not say to me that my money will be returned in full. It’s very unfair.”

Moreover, engineer Otto González, who is also a saver at Coacecss, has made a call to Ipacoop “find ways to bring to fruition the cooperative [fifth largest in the country]”.

Many of these depositors expressed feelings of concern and fear caused by the impossibility of knowing if they will be able to retrieve all their savings and deposits from this financial institution.

Coacecss was taken over by Ipacoop June 28, 2012, after it detected a mismatch between deposits and loans by $35 million, at the time the depositors were limited in access to their savings accounts.

Several American Coacecss depositors have indicated their dissatisfaction with the manner in which COACECSS has had to deal with the intervention and liquidation of the cooperative. “They do not answer calls or e-mails and written correspondence. This demonstrates a total lack of professionalism on their side, said one of these depositors in relation to the treatment received by the cooperative under intervention.

It is expected that the liquidation Committee will be appointed in the coming days and will issue details of the process that will be developed in relation to the depositors of the cooperative to be liquidated.


$83 million in loans.

33% defaults on the loan portfolio

$112 million in assets to face liquidation.

$95 million in deposits from savers and third parties.

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2 Responses to “COACECSS Credit Union DEPOSITORS could lose savings ?”

  1. David Zimmerman says:

    This story needs to be in the world press so people know it is not safe to bring their money to Panama.

  2. Jose Soto says:

    Please join in on the debate about this Scam:

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