OCIF issues a cease and desist order against Euro Pacific Bank

The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF) Issued a cease and desist order against the Euro Pacific International Bank (EPB) Puerto Rico has appointed a trustee to take over International Finance Corporation (EFI) as an emergency measure after alleged violations of the Regional Financial Center Act, the office said in a press conference.

The Commissioner for Financial Institutions, Natalia Sequeira Díaz, announced the corrective action this afternoon in collaboration with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Australian Taxation Office and the United Kingdom Customs Service.

Corrective action comes after a few weeks new day Zequeira Díaz noted that OCIF has taken remedial actions against another five institutions supervised by the agency, and that it will take steps to actively supervise the core of Puerto Rico’s financial system.

Although a cease and desist order is the most severe remedial action that OCIF can apply, Act 273 of 2012 provides remedies for administrative review of the regulator’s decisions.

EPB is an IFI that received its license from OCIF on February 9, 2017. However, the financial institution commenced operations in 2011 after registering as a banking institution in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its principal shareholder and chairman of the board is Peter D. Schiff is a renowned American economist and financier who owns several international investment and financial advisory firms.

Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific International Bank. (file, archive)

Although the company is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, EFI provides services only to international individual and corporate clients. IFE is charged with assisting its clients in transactions involving currency exchange, wire transfers, payments and investments in mutual funds and precious metals.

According to company data, in 2019, EPB will have approximately 15,000 customers worldwide and will have contracts and business relationships with or provide or receive services from Schiff and other entities owned by third parties and will operate from the British Virgin Islands. (BVI), United Kingdom, New Zealand and Singapore and St. Vincent etc. The company asserts in its presentations that it has established “key risk mitigation principles for operating an international bank.”

The building that houses the offices of the Euro Pacific International Bank in San Juan.
The building that houses the offices of the Euro Pacific International Bank in San Juan. (Alejandro Granada)

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Esmond Harmon

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