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Access Financial Services still in good health, says Goldson

Published:Monday | September 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Goldson

Brian Goldson, Access Financial Services (AFS) Limited's board chairman, recently broke his silence over the impasse between board members and Marcus James, CEO of the company. In an interview with The Gleaner, Goldson said the issue was not a personal one and, "there never has been and never will be any attempt to take over AFS from James".

Goldson said the issue between AFS and Mayberry had not affected the day-to-day running of the company.

"AFS has not been negatively affected by this internal problem. Instead, its health and future are great. The need for our service is limitless and we believe good sense will prevail and things will settle down," Goldson said. He added that AFS continues to thrive because of its 'phenomenal business model'. For that reason, Goldson sees no reason why the current 15 branches over eight parishes could not be increased to 30 across the island in the near future.

In fact, he describes the decision of founder James to go public as, "a poster child for what entrepreneurs must do to achieve the bigger picture. It was a mature decision that saw the company growing tremendously," Goldson said, adding that AFS was the first to list on the Junior Stock Exchange. He explained that from early into it's start AFS identified a niche clientele among security guards.

"The group of persons popularly classified as 'the little man' is a better risk, just like small business owners, in most cases we are the only source of credit for them, so they honour their loan obligations promptly," Goldson said. He explained that there is no or low collateral required for small personal loans and repayment time is usually not more than two years. AFS now has in excess of $3 billion in its coffers and a healthy future.

The issue

Following non-disclosure of over-expenditure by James last year, he was relieved of his responsibilities as CEO of AFS and the board took them over. But he was reinstated following an order by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

In April, The Gleaner's Wednesday Business reported that the board of AFS stripped James of his management responsibilities but not his title. The board gave those responsibilities to Alexander Johnson, who was appointed by resolution on April 14 to act as chief executive officer of the company, along with James. However, Johnson's appointment was then reversed after the court clarified an earlier ruling that had varied an injunction James previously obtained that stopped the board from removing him as CEO.

In a notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange dated May 5, AFS said the board, by resolution passed unanimously on May 2, revoked Johnson's appointment to the post of co-CEO.

Still, Goldson is confident about the future because AFS continues to, "record increased levels of profit." He said the company has a great team of business managers and they have isolated the issues so they don't impact the running of the company.