FBME Shareholders Say ‘Wait’ for Forensic Report

4 August 2014

Specialist forensic accountants from the US have started their investigation into the Notice of Findings and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the FinCEN bureau of the US Department of Treasury.

This investigation will be thorough and cooperative. The work will have particular reference to the Bank’s compliance with EU-approved Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations and best practice guidelines.

FBME Shareholders have called for a halt to actions by the Central Bank of Cyprus to sell FBME’s Cyprus branches while this investigation is carried out. It makes sense and it is very much what we understand is wanted by all main parties.

No one quite understands why the Central Bank moved to take over the Cyprus branch of FBME bank. They have done undue harm by putting a virtual suspension on payments on what is otherwise a very healthy bank. The Central Bank of Cyprus’s Special Administrator has claimed that this is due to FBME not having correspondent banking arrangements, which is not true: there are correspondent banking relationships in place.

The Central Bank says it wants to protect the branch’s depositors but its actions have done the exact opposite. While in Tanzania, the authorities have moved in to supervise transactions, as is normal, but have kept operations going at the Bank head office and branches.

By not waiting for the investigation and the final report of the US Department of the Treasury, the Central Bank of Cyprus is acting as if it wishes to prevent the investigation.

Its Special Resolution decree which is how it has taken over FBME’s Cyprus branch was designed for banks which are defunct or facing drastically short liquidity, not healthy banks such as FBME in Cyprus.