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News : Local Last Updated: Jan 12th, 2024 - 10:42:29

Brokers ahead of SSL clients
By Marston Gordon
Jan 12, 2024, 10:26

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On the one year anniversary of the Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) exposure one person has been arrested and held without bail, not protective custody, despite having a featured face recognizable by an infant. Jean-Ann Panton is immobile and could not pose a flight risk; her problem was compounded by very poor legal representation from the outset.

With all the hype by Nigel Clarke of engaging the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British forensic audit firm Kroll Associates not one other suspect has been publicly identified until now.
The finance ministerís credibility on this matter has been shot on a number of occasions, from him stating that he was not notified by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of SSLís breaches to discovering a report (received April 15, 2020) in his filing cabinet informing him accordingly; to him disclosing that the government was granting monthly financial support to SSLís operation seemingly unaware of the fidelity insurance claim.

Throughout all the chaos neither the FSC nor the temporary manager of SSL communicated with clients of SSL until mid July 2023 when they sought confirmation of account statement, the first thing that should have been done. Within that time the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) suspended online trading through SSL (January 30, 2023) and SSLís member dealer agreement terminated (February 24, 2023) but that was not before local equities held by SSL or Alpha were allowed to trade (February 13- 24, 2023). My guess is that the sale of equities was to facilitate inter-broker settlements.

In September 2023 SSL again reached out to its clients by email informing of the process to transfer local securities to a broker of (the clientís) choice and cash balances to a financial institution of choice. With regards to the transfer of local securities, that should have been the second step after account confirmation. The FSC however intended to package and sell the client list to a broker of their choice but that fell through as the selected broker terminated the deal at the last minute.
The transfer of cash balances is still in limbo and my understanding is that the funds are with the JSE (from inter-broker settlement) and is being held up by them. It is a crying shame!

Source: Jamaica Stock Exchange, Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer

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