The Puerto Rican financial regulator has barred Euro Pacific Bank from operating till further notice. The bank belongs to Peter Schiff, the ardent Bitcoin critic. Schiff stated that the bank had suspended all accounts and that customers might lose money due to the halt in operations.
He further asserts that the regulatory body has no proof of criminality against him or the bank.
OCIF Nails Euro Pacific Bank
The suspension was carried out by Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF). The regulatory body cited tax evasion and illegal dealings as reasons for the clampdown.
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However, Schiff insists that the regulator has no proof to tie him or his bank to any wrongdoing, the Bitcoin critic revealed.
According to the regulatory watchdog, on June 30, it declared the imposition of a “Complaint and Cease and Desist Order” and a “Temporary Order Designating Trustee” on the bank before the suspension.
The ruling directs that Euro Pacific’s operations be put on hold because of its flagrant disregard for the regulatory capital requirements, according to the OCIF.
Furthermore, the ruling slaps disciplinary fines of $765,000.00 on the bank for several infractions of the rules and regulations enforced by OCIF.
Meanwhile, Euro Pacific Bank has announced that it is complying with the suspension and has halted transactions.
The regulator suspects Euro Pacific Bank of committing financial inappropriateness and evading tax. However, no formal complaint has been launched against its founder in court at the time of writing.
Schiff Plans to Sell Euro-Pacific Bank
According to Schiff, the bank was looking for a buyer, but OCIF curtailed the deal, preventing him from further action. He remarked:
“I have got a bidder.” Although the client is “well prepared” and has pledged to “pump more money beyond regulatory thresholds, OCIF won’t allow it.”
The regulators would want to liquidate it so that others would think the bank was closed for evading taxes and financial crimes. Despite having no evidence that the bank is found wanting, the OCIF has a plan, the bitcoin critic disclosed.
In a Twitter post, Schiff noted that he was ready to put in extra effort, but the head of OCIF told him there was no need for it. He added that the watchdog informed him that the terms of the sale would take care of any deficiency.
Schiff responded that they had run into several million dollars, commenting on the amount of revenue shortfall and the capital requirement needed.
In 2020, tax officials in five nations were looking into Euro Pacific Bank’s dealings. Although Schiff acknowledged being suspected of tax avoidance, he emphasized that the claims were untrue and that OCIF had brought no indictments.
Moreover, the Euro-Pacific Bank founder believes that the Puerto Rican regulatory watchdog is carrying out a plan based on issues only known to them. Meanwhile, the proposed sale of the bank will have to wait for the OCIF’s greenlight.
Government financial agencies worldwide are tightening their sector controls as illicit dealings continue to rise.