Authorities Close Bahamas' Bank
Oct. 03, 1997
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) _ Gulf Union Bank, an offshore commercial bank with headquarters in the Cayman Islands, was shut down in the Bahamas on Friday.
Some customers milled outside, frustrated that there was no notice announcing the bank's intentions.
Finance Minister William Allen said the action was taken because of the bank's ``inability at this time to satisfy the statutory requirements for the Central Bank of the Bahamas as to its affairs.'' He did not elaborate.
Authorities suspended the license of the bank, owned by Sheikh Jabor bin Mohammed al-Thani of the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar.
Phones were not answered at the bank's Freeport and Nassau branches.
The bank, founded in 1985, is privately held and its financial results are not reported, according to Lace Financial Corp., a Frederick, Md., business that tracks foreign banks.
The bank also is having problems in the Cayman Islands, where authorities last month turned down the management's choice for a general manager for Gulf Union Bank Ltd. Caymans and its sister First Cayman Bank. The candidate was found ``unsuitable'' with no further public explanation.
Brian Cunha, a government-appointed controller of the bank in the Caymans, said he was overseeing the operation in Cayman Islands, whose confidentiality laws prevented him from sharing any information.
The bank's owner, al-Thani, is the major shareholder in Doha Bank Ltd., the second-largest bank in Qatar.