WILLEMSTAD - An editorial in a local Dutch newspaper criticized the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) for not responding to inquiries about a Financieele Dagblad (FD) report on the alleged under-capitalization at Dutch Caribbean insurance company ENNIA. Although the latter argued that matters had been taken out of context and all was in order, the newspaper concluded that 40 per cent of the assets of pension provider Ennia Life was invested in sister companies and is thus not under the supervision of any local entity, including CBCS.
The insurance firm maintains this is within the current guidelines, but by refusing to confirm compliance it was believed CBCS in fact contributed to the uncertainty especially among policy-holders. It regards published annual accounts, so the question was rightfully asked why.
CBCS announced over the weekend a Monday afternoon press conference on “the publications of the last few days” in FD, after the Dutch business daily published a second story questioning the integrity of CBCS president-director Emsley Tromp. Hopefully, clarity can be provided, because – as the newspaper pointed out – CBCS needs to keep in mind that a guarantee function also comes with accountability towards those to be protected. Public confidence in local financial institutions to a large extent depends on their supervision.
Sometimes necessary confidentiality obviously has its limits in a democracy based on the rule of law. If CBCS can’t reassure the community and particularly the persons directly affected in a satisfactory manner, surely the Finance Ministers in Willemstad and Philipsburg should assume their political responsibility in this controversy.