Attorney urges BOJ regulators to reconsider rescinding of Alliance's licenceSaturday, December 04, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The attorney for Alliance Financial Services Limited (AFSL), Queen's Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson, is urging regulators of the financial system and the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to reconsider the decision to immediately pull the plug on the AFSL's license to operate as a cambio and remittance business.
"The fact of the matter is my clients have been working with the BOJ for some time to resolve matters which are now in the public domain. The BOJ was fully aware of the concerns about some transactions which date as far back as 2009 and they were also fully in the know about steps taken to address the concerns. Therefore, the sudden licence suspension and the move to effectively severely restrict Alliance's ability to conduct business is a bit curious," Tavares-Finson said in a statement on Saturday.
"I am really calling for the BOJ and the regulators of the financial system to reconsider its decision to restrict Alliance from performing its core business, even as dialogue continues about how to treat with concerns about alleged historic breaches across the sector. Additionally, there has to be some presumption of innocence here, that's a trite principle which should inform actions in relation to this and any legal matter where allegations are made," the attorney added.
The call from Tavares-Finson comes as major fallout appears to be looming in the financial sector following the decision to immediately suspend Alliance's license.
The decision means there's uncertainty about the jobs of nearly 500 employees of Alliance's MoneyGram agents across the island. Nearly 70 of Alliance's employees are also uneasy following the decision by the BOJ to prohibit the company carrying out some of its key business activities.
AFSL was yesterday suspended from operating as a cambio and remittance business, effective immediately. According to the BOJ, in a statement yesterday, it has also revoked AFSL's authorization to operate in the BOJ Fintech regulatory sandbox.
The BOJ says the action became necessary given the charges laid on the company by the Financial Investigations Division (FID).
Alliance is accused of breaching Section 22(a) of the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ Act and Section 10 of the Banking Services Act, when it disbursed loans including insurance premium finance facilities in US dollars. The charges are in connection with transactions which were allegedly conducted approximately 10 years ago.
OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the suspension of Alliance's licence has generated panic in some sections of the business community, with several entities taking steps to assess the extent to which they may have also disbursed loans in US dollars.