Seizure of Control of BALBOA BANK & TRUST CORP.


Seizure of Control of BALBOA BANK & TRUST CORP.

By official announcement (Resolution SBP-0087-2016) on May 5, 2016; the Superintendence of Banks orders the seizure of administrative and operating control of BALBOA BANK & TRUST CORP. effective at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Based on Article 131 of the Banking Law the authority can take control over the bank. This decision was adopted as the result of the actions taken by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) against Waked Economic Group.

Waked Economic Group according to US investigation is closely related to BALBOA BANK & TRUST CORP. and its subsidiaries.

In the opinion of the Superintendence, the Waked investigation jeopardizing the interests of depositors due to the strong impact on the Bank’s reputation.

The Panamanian bank authority believed that a Bank’s prestige is a substantial part of the health of their liquid assets.

Moreover, a substantial part of the Bank’s (Balbo Bank & Trust) liquid assets are placed in foreign jurisdictions subject to seizure by the United States Authorities.

According to the Banking Law, the Interim Administrator will have up to 30 days, with a possible extension of up to 30 additional days, if necessary, to submit the best options and alternatives to achieve a positive and healthy restructuring of the Bank.

In the same announcement the Superintendence of Banks reiterates that the Panamanian Banking System is very stable and strong and that the Balboa Bank & Trust case does not present a contagion risk for the rest of the Banking System.