Monday, April 19, 2021

Panama banking watchdog seizes bank with shady links


Panama’s Bank Superintendent (SBP) ordered the  takeover of AllBank, Corp as of 3 pm on Monday, September 9, four days after  Banco del Orinoco,  another bank belonging to the main shareholder of AllBank, was intervened in Curaçao, and closed its  doors after reports of non-compliance with the Capital Legitimation and Terrorist  Financing System.

The president of the Board of Directors of AllBank in Panama is the Venezuelan banker Víctor Vargas Irausquín, who leads the holding Grupo Financiero Banco Occidental de Discount (BOD), owner of Banco del Orinoco.

Curaçao has been listed as one of the countries with the highest money laundering alert, according to the 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of the US State Department

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“One of the banks owned by the main shareholder of AllBank, Corp, in the jurisdiction of Curaçao, (Banco del Orinoco, NV) where a quarter of the bank’s liquid assets is placed and also provides custody services for a third party part of the investments in securities that are part of the productive assets of Allbank,

Corp., was intervened on September 5 by the Centrale Bank van Curacao in Sint Maarten (CBCS), which results in the Bank Orinoco NV not being able to continue lending its regular services, it will not be able to offer new services, nor to attract

Related: IMF tells Panama it need to do more to fight money laundering

clients and it will not be able to fulfill its debts, the reason why at the moment all its assets will be frozen “, said a Superintendency statement.

It also notes “a big  weakness in the health of the loan portfolio”, “fragile management of the Corporate Governance”, a business model that becomes unfeasible “and” the uncertainty generated by access to Allbank’s assets, as well as potential contagion effects that derive from the situation of the banking group in Curacao ” would jeopardize the interests of depositors.

The SBPsays  that the takeover does not represent a risk of contagion for the Panamanian Banking System since there is no connection between AllBank and other banks in the country

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