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Sep 16, 2015

Senate Passes Vesting Act for Sale of FCIB

Lisa Shoman

While all the fireworks revolved around the B.T.L. settlement, the Senate also passed a vesting act which will facilitate the transfer of FCIB assets to the Heritage Bank. Members on the Opposition side did not receive their documents outlining the proposed Act until Monday, and Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman took issue with the late notice. She says that because of what has become a common practice, Senators are being forced to debate and pass bills without having the facts. 


Lisa Shoman, Senator, People’s United Party

“Although anyone may fairly claim that this is a private financial transaction between two banks and although it is true that the government cannot and does not hamper normal commercial transactions, in this case what you have is a major financial institution in Belize purporting to be sold wholly to another financial institution and the government of Belize is being asked to step in to allow that to pass through. And as senator Lizarraga has pointed out, none of this transaction can be concluded without the necessary assurances and permissions of the government of Belize. It is also critical to note that this is not simply a domestic bank being sold to a domestic bank, but it also concerns offshore transferees one and two; offshore transferors one and two; loan portfolios, offshore collateral, offshore transfers, offshore loan purchase agreements and securities…also syndication agreements. Anyone who sits here and says that they are comfortable with what is occurring here without having seen any of these is permitting themselves to allow a transaction to go through sight unseen. That does not and would not satisfy any fiduciary duty placed upon you by any court of law. I simply point out that if later on someone challenges the government’s exercise of its power as evidence by this law, each and every one of you who agree to it will be similarly held. Quite possibly, you will plead your immunity, but history will not absolve you.”

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