CARICOM issues statement on Stanford and CL Financial problems

BELIZE CITY, Belize – Caribbean leaders are of the view that the recent financial problems posed by two companies in the region may have significant implications for policy-holders, depositors and investors.

In a statement issued at the just concluded 12th Inter-Sessional in Belmopan, Belize, the Heads of Government noted the Caribbean financial sector is generally considered to be sound and well regulated with most of the prudential indicators being favourable, including ratios of capital adequacy, liquidity, loan performance, and foreign exchange reserves.

Consequently, the assessment at the outset of the global economic and financial crisis was that the Region’s financial sector was fairly insulated from the ravages occurring in the developed countries.

It noted however, that the financial problems posed by the CL Financial Group and the Stanford Group of Companies may have significant implications for hundreds of thousands of Caribbean policy-holders, depositors and investors.

With respect to the C L Financial Group, Heads of Government have determined that this is a regional problem which warrants a regional solution.

“They have therefore agreed to collaborate in the search for a fair and favourable resolution of this issue. In this context, Heads of Government fully endorsed the recent formation of a College of Regulators which has been assigned the task of determining the full scope and location of the assets and liabilities of the CL Financial Group,” said the statement.

It said that on completion of this task, Heads of Government will meet immediately to consider the report of the Regulators and to take the necessary action in the interest of all stakeholders.

With respect to the problems posed by the Stanford Group of Companies, the Heads of Government acknowledged the swift action taken by OECS Members and the strong efforts of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to have the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) of the USA release part of the assets of the Stanford International Bank (SIB) that had been frozen pending investigations.

“The experiences relating to the CL Financial Group and the Stanford Group of Companies have demonstrated the need for strengthening the regional regulatory framework, particularly in the non-bank financial sector and more effective cross-border supervision of Pan-Caribbean companies,” said the statement.

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