Editorial Staff
1 month ago

Editorial Staff
1 month ago

UPP MP demands immediate answers from FSRC and PM Browne on handling of CIP funds in troubled bank

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Kelvin Shugy Simon, the Parliamentary Representative for St Mary’s South, has criticized Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) for their alleged lack of action in a matter involving the Global Bank of Commerce and one of his constituents, Jack Stroll.

Stroll, a Canadian born billionaire, who holds an Antiguan and Barbudan passport, deposited over $10 million in the bank but has been unable to access his funds due to unknown reasons.

He can still not access his money despite winning a court judgment against the bank.

Feeling the need to intervene, Simon submitted a letter to the prime minister highlighting the issue and the bank’s inaction.

In addition, he expressed his concern that the government continues to deposit CIP funds into this problematic bank.

“He [Scroll] deposited millions into the bank and is trying to get his money back, but the bank has not been able to give it to him. I took a letter to the prime minister this morning because I feel I had to intervene,” Simon said

In a recent letter, Simon expressed his concern over the government’s decision to continue depositing funds from the Citizenship Investment Programme (CIP) into the Global Bank of Commerce despite the bank’s ongoing financial troubles.

He believes that the case of Mr. Stroll, a high-profile client of the bank, is just one example of its difficulties.

Simon has questioned Prime Minister Browne’s judgment, who is also the finance minister responsible for the CIP Unit.

He said finds it inconceivable and utterly irresponsible that the government channel funds from the CIP into an institution that appears insolvent.

This, he believes, not only puts the integrity of the banking system at risk but also threatens the financial security of Antigua and Barbuda’s citizens and the fiscal stability of the country.

In his letter, Simon has also raised concerns about the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), which is under the purview of PM Browne’s Finance Ministry. Despite its legal mandates, the FSRC has not intervened in the alarming state of affairs at the bank.

Simon has pointed out that the law is clear, and the FSRC is mandated to take action, including appointing a receiver if a bank is insolvent. As a result, Simon has been forced to question whether the government is exercising prudent financial management.

“The FSRC must be implicated because they are the ones who monitor the operations of financial institutions in Antigua and Barbuda. They are also responsible because it is responsible for regulating banks and monitoring their operations. It now puts the legitimacy of the FSRC into question,” he said

According to Simon, the FSRC has failed to act on the bank’s inability to return its customer’s money.

“The prime minister is called upon to look into this situation and to ensure that the FSRC is doing its job because clearly, they don’t seem to know their role,” he added.

In the constituency of St. Mary’s South, Antigua and Barbuda, a citizen named Mr. Jack Stroll.

Simon has urged Prime Minister Gaston Browne to take immediate action to address the difficulties faced by depositors of the Global Bank of Commerce.

Simon has emphasized the situation’s urgency and called for a transparent and accountable approach to resolving these issues.

The aim is to safeguard the nation’s fiscal integrity and reputation during this challenging time.

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