Published On: Tue, Jan 22nd, 2013

Board of directors of CBCS fight over impasse

WILEMSTAD – While the carnival fever on Curaçao increases with the Tumba Festival, the board of directors of the Central Bank of Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) had convened a meeting of the Board of Commissioners to discuss proposals and wind up the Terms of Reference for an operational audit or integrity inquiry. Minister of Finance, José Jardim, repeatedly stated that the Bank of the Netherlands was asked to draw up the Terms of Reference. This has been done in the meantime and the governments of Curaçao and St. Maarten have reached an agreement. The minister was still awaiting a reaction from the Board of Commissioners.

However, the meeting of the Board of Commissioners today gave the impression that no decisions had been taken on the Terms of Reference. The Curaçao members of the Board of Commissioners hadn’t shown up either for the meeting. A remarkable point is that the meeting coincides with the visit of the Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk (PvdA).

This impasse between Curaçao and St. Maarten on the future of the CBCS also has the attention of the Council of Ministers. This latter already indicated this problem must be solved. According to rumors in the corridors of CBCS, the Kingdom’s government inclines toward putting the CBCS under supervision because there seems no end to the impasse.

The necessity and urgency of the audit is not recognized by convening this meeting, according to the Curaçao members of the Board of Commissioners, who repeatedly argued that the impasse is the fault of president of the bank, Emsley Tromp. They believe the obstruction and the delay have been going on for some time now, while the Board of Commissioners repeatedly stated an inquiry into certain actions from Tromp is necessary, based on possible undesired, irregular, unlawful and/of penal acts.

As known, commissioners Glenn Camelia, Lincoln James and Renny Maduro made it clear in the letter of September 12th to the authorized persons as regards capital that as long as Tromp doesn’t subject himself unconditionally to an inquiry, as confirmed in previous council meetings, they will not meet with the president of the bank.

In this letter aforementioned commissioners wrote how Tromp had attempted to mislead them several times.

Furthermore, in that letter the commissioners pointed out to the authorized persons as regards capital that meanwhile 50% of the post capital and reserves has been used for two loans: the debenture stock of Aqualectra in 2009 and the guarantee on the debenture stock of the St. Maarten Harbour Finance of February 2012. Tromp granted both loans without the knowledge of the commissioners and without verification by the investment committee, considering these are very risky loans. Aqualectra is namely almost bankrupt.

In this letter, the commissioners pointed out to the authorized persons as regards capital that the bi-annual report from the Council financial supervision (Cft) of June 2012 revealed that Aqualectra had a negative general reserve of 235 million guilders when the underwriting took place late 2009. In the letter of September 12th the commissioners therefore drew a firm conclusion that ‘Tromp is extremely negligent with the means entrusted to the bank’.

In the letter the commissioners therefore stated that ‘no self-respecting Board of Commissioners would accept such treatment’. The commissioners finally appealed to the authorized persons as regards capital to take action so that the integrity inquiry – approved by all members – can begin as soon as possible. They state they have absolutely no confidence in Tromp.

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