At the recent committee of finance meeting on Wednesday August 22nd with the Central Bank, Member of Parliament and USP Faction Leader Rolando Brison had expressed some serious concerns about the various issues the community faces in the banking sector, as well as the urgent measures the central bank and public prosecutor has had to take against the Enniaconglomerate and its largest asset, the Mullet Bay property.
“What is the central bank doing to protect our local insured and pensioners and what are we doing to protect the asset of Mullet Bay with the measures being taken? I’m calling on government and government owned companies to exercise extreme caution in dealing with this ‘conglomerate of businesses’ as it was referred to by the central bank,” stated Brison.
The Central bank in answering Brison’s questioning explained their efforts related to Ennia. “What we have right now is that the licenses have been revoked in order to enact the restructuring of Ennia to protect and save pensioners and customers,” said Director of the Central Bank Jose Jardim. The property of mullet bay has also been placed under lien during this process, which involves both the central bank and the public prosecutors.
Brison expressed concerns about companies related to the group entering into deals with government and extensions of government, such as the financing of the hospital. “Other government owned companies have told parliament that they arebusy seeking finances, and if Ennia is undergoing Central Bank imposed restructuring, then at least during this phase, government should exercise extreme caution in entering into any financing agreements. Once the Central Bank is successful in their investigation and restructuring, that may be a better time to revisit financial agreements with the conglomerate,”
The MP further stated that he commended the Central Bank for having the foresight to take action, and looks forward to continued updates on the matter to the members of Parliament.
Brison also called on the central bank to investigate the counter productive policies of banks that are making it harder and more costly for locals to cash checks. “Imagine a person who urgently needs to cash their pension check is now being told to deposit it on their own account and wait up to 5 days, or open an account with that particular bank in order to get their cash right away. I think this is a very unfair and predatory practice that doubles as a gimmick to simply get more people to open accounts at various banks, and then be faced with fees being charged just for having that bank account,” explained Brison.
What is also very concerning is the fact that central bank in the meeting with parliament said that it does not have authority in regulating the fees. “Upon learning this, I therefore presented a proposal for the committee to conduct further investigation into what we have to do to adjust legislation to make sure we can protect citizens and businesses from abuse with fees and the other sub-optimal situations that customers face at banks lately,” state Brison.