August 15, 2022
STATEMENT BY PETER SCHIFF ON SETTLEMENT WITH OFFICE OF PUERTO RICAN BANK COMMISSIONER (“OCIF”)
First, I want to express my appreciation to the OCIF Commissioner for her statement made during her June 30th press conference. In response to a direct question from a reporter as to whether “Euro Pacific Bank helped its clients commit money laundering and tax evasion,” she replied, “that is a conclusion that has not been made” and that the actions taken were “solely based on the findings of the report of the examination.” She then expanded on her answer by reiterating that “the action is not based on claims of money laundering or other financial crimes.” (Emph. added).
The Commissioner’s words and OCIF’s findings contradicted the false innuendo by the IRS agent and the other J5 representatives at the same press conference, as well as the defamatory hatchet job against Euro Pacific Bank and me produced by Australia’s Channel Nine in its “60 Minutes” program and Age publications that I or the bank ever facilitated or encouraged money laundering, tax evasion or any other crimes. The settlement agreement further clarifies the Commissioner’s remarks made during the press conference that the liquidation of the bank is based on its having insufficient regulatory capital.
Second, I am proud to announce that the settlement agreement asks me to submit a plan for the orderly liquidation of the bank, in order to prioritize the return of 100% of deposits to customers, or the transfer of those deposits to another financial institution outside of Puerto Rico. The settlement agreement confirms that according to the trustee’s calculations, as of June 30th, the date the bank was placed into receivership, the bank held “an excess cash position to cover all deposits.” (Emph. added). That is because the bank never loaned out any of its deposits. Since the bank also has no debt, after depositors are made whole, the plan will seek to pay all outstanding bills and other contractual obligations of the bank in full and perhaps propose other ideas to OCIF for the benefit of depositors and in the public interest.
Third, and relevant to the second point, the settlement agreement specifically states that I am not admitting to any legal wrongdoing, either on the part of the bank or me personally. In addition, I personally contributed over $10 million of my own money into the bank, over $7 million since October of 2020, specifically to protect depositors from large operating losses caused by the Big Lie spread by Australia Channel Nine back in Oct. of 2020, and now implied through innuendo by the IRS and J5 during the recent OCIF press conference.
Finally, since as of now I have been prohibited from selling the bank to several possible interested and qualified buyers, and since continuing to own and operate the bank myself is no longer a financially viable option given the false innuendo that has wrongfully tarnished my reputation in banking, I have agreed to lead the orderly liquidation of the bank as the only feasible option available. I chose to settle this case, including the payment of a monetary sum, because, as is the case with any settlement, I just want to put this matter behind me and move on.