Stanford Bank Panama is being sold by the SEC, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune:
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that approximately $14.2 million has been secured for the benefit of the worldwide victims of R. Allen Stanford's alleged multi-billion dollar fraud scheme. The Receiver expects these funds to be returned to the receivership estate by June 2010.
Does this mean that Stanford will now be a reputable bank? Not by any standard. The Panama News already reported last year that the buyer, the Weston Group, is headed by one Joseph L. Salterio. Mr. Salterio used to be the CEO of HSBC Panama and oversaw the controversial acquisition of Banistmo, a transaction for which a special law was created to exempt Banistmo shareholders - mostly members of the Panamanian oligarchy - from taxes. Writes The Panama News:
(...) if US authorities or any other interested party care to look at the HSBC acquisition of Banistmo, on top of the scandalous Torrijos administration capital gains tax break that made the deal possible there would have to be other questions about the deal and Salterio's role in it. The merger has taken much longer than anticipated to be completed. One reason is that after the deal was struck and both Salterio and his boss in London had been granted large bonuses for it, HSBC then complained that it did not receive in the transaction what it had been led to believe that it would. Panama does not use the international standards embodied in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, but has a system of its own. It was said that the misunderstanding was based on this difference --- as if the veteran Panamanian banker Salterio would not have known about it.
That is however not the only scandal Salterio was involved in. He also became notorious for going after the assets of a former client who had dared to criticize the lousy service of HSBC Panama.
Not reported anywhere, Bananama Republic just learned that Stanford Bank Panama represents one of the 28167 claims, totaling over 40 billion euro, lodged against the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing Bank hf. A document posted on WikiLeaks lists Stanford Bank Panama with a claim for $1,310,600 against the Icelandic fellow financial hustlers.
Why anyone would want to deposit money with any bank in Panama, a country run by crooks, with no functioning legal system, no bank secrecy, no meaningful oversight and no bank deposit insurance at all, is totally beyond us.
UPDATE: We just learned that the Salterio group was barred from buying Stanford, and that supposedly one of the Noveys heads the group that bought it.
This is pretty much the most irresponsible article published. This may also violate Panamanian laws as it is deemed to diminish the stability of a general licensed bank in said country.
Stanford Bank (Panama), S.A. NEVER invested in any Icelandic bank whatsoever. This is ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
Stanford Bank (Panama), S.A. portfolio is now FULLY available in the Banco Nacional de Panama in CASH, not cash equivalents or securities but in CASH. That was a condition precedent to sell the bank.
Salterio and his partner in the Weston Group were barred by the Superintendence of Banks from buying Stanford Bank (Panama), S.A. (or any bank for that matter), because they NEVER intended to buy this bank at the proffered price.
Any of Salterio’s comments regarding this bank are made in resentment to the Superintendence disqualification of this bidding process. Turns out they actually wanted to pay less than 30% of the offered price and to provide less than 60% to depositors, when the bank had its portfolio baking 100% of the depositor’s principal and statutory interest. Salterio is also violating the non disclosure agreement he executed to enter into the bidding process for this bank.
In order for Stanford Bank (Panama), S.A. to gain the unfreezing of its portfolios in the U.K., the U.S., Switzerland, Ecuador and Peru, all of these countries demanded a very harsh audit. This audit proved NO wrongdoing. It also proved an excellent supervision of the bank by Panamanian authorities. Be advised that in this audit the US DOJ, the SEC, the UK FSRA, the Ecuadorean SIC, the Peruvian CONASEV and the Swiss Office of the Federal Prosecutor and FINMA ALL reviewed thousands of audit documents. Furthermore, the very same buyers demanded several deliveries from the US receiver, regarding the soundness of the bank, and ALL were met.
Regardless of what Allen Stanford may have done elsewhere, in Panama he could not operate a bank with an inflated portfolio. The portfolio had to be audited every year, and monthly reports using supporting documentation from verifiable custodians was submitted. Praise the Panamanian administration of this bank, that never swayed from Panama regulations.
If I were Stanford Bank (Panama), S.A.’s new owners I would sue you for falsely reporting, and also for trying to cause a run on a banking institution.
The Panama News is well known for lacking ethic and professionalism in their reporting. They are not, by any means, a valid news source but a mere blog from a highly resentful expatriate who has nothing else to do but complain about the country where he decided to retire in.
I strongly suggest you get your fact right, because today, you are a BIG LIAR!
Temper, temper. But notwithstanding your angry tone and hollow claims about us breaking laws, the facts prove you wrong.
The document that lists Stanford Bank Panama as one of those with a claim against the Icelandic bank is here, it’s undisputed, and if you do a search you’ll find Stanford right there. So that’s one.
Then, I think it says at the end of the article that Salterio’s group didn’t buy the bank. That’s two.
Other than that, you are disputing claims that were never made by Bananama Republic. Normal people call that “hot air”.