Fraud – Jersey blind to Cantrade scandal

Jersey’s financial authorities this week ruled out investigating a major island banking scandal despite millions of pounds of losses to investors and severe criticism of their conduct by senior politicians and lawyers.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission said an investigation into #27m losses at Cantrade Bank ‘would not add to the impact of action already taken’.

The commission said its view was supported by a report by Robson Rhodes.

The commission said a criminal action, concluded in May, sufficiently punished the main protagonists, including a former Touche Ross auditor. But the commission’s conduct was attacked for failing to investigate financial crimes and compensate investors.

Philip Sinell, a lawyer, said in a letter to the head of Jersey’s judiciary, the Batonnier, that investors and a senior MP he represents believed the island ‘deliberately failed to prosecute adequately or at all, in order to reduce the potential bad publicity to it’.

Sinell claimed most of the charges against former Touche partner Alfred Williams and trader Robert Young and two other defendants were dropped because they were ‘out of time’.

He also said Jersey’s financial regulators rejected pleas in 1994 to investigate. They only became involved two years later, when they commissioned Arthur Andersen to review Cantrade’s treasury operations.

Related reading