Puerto Rico’s Regulators Suspend Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Bank
On June 30, 2022, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico suspended Euro Pacific Bank, which is owned by contrarian investor Peter Schiff.
The agency responsible for this move is also known in Spanish as Oficina del Comisionado de Instituciones Financieras (OCIF).
Schiff was adamant about how his bank was not breaking any laws. On July 3, 2022, Schiff tweeted:
Despite no evidence of crimes, Puerto Rico regulators closed my bank anyway for net capital issues … As a result accounts are frozen and customers may lose money.
According to Kevin Helms of Bitcoin.com, the OCIF announced on June 30 that it issued a “Complaint and Cease and Desist Order” and a “Temporary Order Designating Trustee” against Euro Pacific Intl. Bank Inc.
“The order mandates the suspension of Euro Pacific’s operations … due to its crass noncompliance with the minimum capital requirements,” the OCIF outlined. “Further, the order imposes on Euro Pacific administrative fines totaling $765,000.00 for various violations to the laws and regulations administered by OCIF.” The Puerto Rican regulatory agency stated the following:
“Euro Pacific’s serious insolvency situation constitutes sufficient legal justification for OCIF to undertake the administrative action announced today.”
On its website, Euro Pacific Bank posted this statement:
We are complying by pausing transactions until at least July 7, 2022, in order to review their request.
Schiff has recently been attempting to sell Euro Pacific Bank. However, the financial commentator claims that OCIF has halted the sale.
“I have a buyer for the bank. But regulators won’t let me sell it,” In a tweet, Schiff asserted that the buyer is “highly qualified” and has vowed to “inject capital far in excess of regulatory minimums.”
Schiff continued: “They want to liquidate it so the media, the IRS, and the J5 can pretend it’s being shut down for tax evasion and money laundering, even though there was no evidence of either at the bank.”
In a separate tweet, Schiff conceded that his bank has not been complying with the minimum capital requirements that the Puerto Rican government stipulates. Schiff explained:
My team didn’t understand the rules. We were new to PR [Puerto Rico]. We were required to keep more capital than we thought.
“I was prepared to put the extra in, but the Commissioner of OCIF told me I did not have to as the deficiency would be cured per the terms of the sale,” he continued.
Back in 2020, Euro Pacific Bank was being investigated by tax authorities in five countries for alleged acts of tax evasion. Schiff stated that these allegations were false and no charges were officially filed.
Schiff became renowned for predicting the financial crisis of 2007-2010, when most pundits said everything was going well for the US economy.
This latest saga taking place in Puerto Rico just shows that there’s nowhere to run in the US or its territories. Puerto Rico is notorious for its corruption and fiscal irresponsibility, so it makes sense that it will go after productive individuals like Peter Schiff.
Hopefully, Schiff gets this problem sorted out. Such a provocative figure who provides value to many and is willing to shake up the status quo should not see their private business dealings tampered with.
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