Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The mystery behind BMI’s unexpected closure does not dissipate. A press communiqué yesterday from the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) confirming that the BMI Offshore bank in Victoria was currently under “examination” due to an “operational issue”. Yet the CBS seems unable to expound what exactly is the problem.

 The BMI Offshore bank unexpectedly closed down on Thursday following an “examination” by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of its data. While the BMI’s staff has vanished and documents have been seized by the authorities, the FIU maintains that an “examination” is not an “investigation”.

Yet the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) confirmed yesterday via a press communiqué that it was, together with the FIU, conducting an “examination on BMI’s transactions and records due to an ‘operational issue’”. According to the CBS, BMI’s correspondent banking relationship has been discontinued since last week which perhaps was the reason why the CBS and FIU decided to carry out an “examination”.

The communiqué also makes the following point - that the offshore bank was financially sound and that the depositor’s interests were safeguarded even though they will not be able to access their deposits until the problem is solved.

Naddy Marie was contacted, economist and communications coordinator at CBS, for further clarifications - what was the “operational issue”?, When will the depositors have access to their funds?, What happened to BMI’s employees? But Mr Marie said he was not in a position to enlighten us further.

 Rumours of a possible interdiction of BMI’s managing director Frank Hoareau could also not be confirmed.

 It is to be noted that the FIU’s Declan Barber stated that the FIU never instructed BMI to close or interrupt their daily activities. The CBS is mute on this matter as well.