Published On: Tue, Mar 3rd, 2015

Central Bank denies preferential treatment befriended banker

Central BankWILLEMSTAD - The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) denies to have issued a permit for a "master license" of Western Union to a befriended bank.

CBCS responds to an anonymous message sent via email, which appeared to be stating that the president of CBCS has given preferential treatment to a befriended bank.

Through the e-mail the following was stated:

“DHL Curaçao has been the Western Union master licensee for very long years, but decided to concentrate on its core business. Western Union has called on the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten to look for a new candidate for the license. The preference of a local bank was very clear and it was strongly emphasized in several documents towards the Central Bank.”

Sources from the Central Bank informed the watchdog that there were three banks, two off-shore, who have applied for the license and also received a visit from Western Union’s top level.

The three banks are: EIB, United Bank (owner Gregory Elias) and PSB Bank (owned by the government of Curacao and St. Maarten).

Sources from the Central Bank have provided highly confidential documents which indicated that Emsley Tromp, director of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, has ignored the wishes of Western Union for a local bank and has decided to grant the license to his banker friend and business partner Gregory Elias, in what could be characterized as undoubtedly a controversial decision.

“According to our analysis, the PSB Bank, of which St. Maarten is still partly beneficial owner, is the best candidate and has all relevant permits! We still have to contact the PSB on this matter, but our investigation and the necessary documentation has provided evidence for the above.”

CBCS however denies these false reports strongly and says that any insinuation in this direction is based on fabricated stories with the aim to put CBCS and the President in a negative spot.

The Bank explains that no permit has been issued for a master license because the legislation for the supervision did not exist. In the meantime, the legislation in question was published and CBCS is working to get a policy with the conditions to be met to qualify for such a permit.

When this policy is ready, applications for this license will be taken. Currently no applications are pending, says CBCS.

Email says in a second email that they have read articles that have appeared in the media about this issue and that the CBCS is denying this accusation and they have official mails from the Central Bank, where an employee is communicating that the president of the CBCS has favored a befriended bank.

“If necessary, we will send it for publication.”


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