April 19, 2017
On Friday, April 14, 2017, Judge Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued his final judgment in favor of FinCEN, upholding its Second Final Rule and denying reconsideration that FBME Bank had sought on certain points. To read, press here. At the same time, Judge Cooper lifted his preexisting stay and denied a full stay pending appeal. To read, press here. Consistent with its rights to seek appellate relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, FBME then sought and obtained from Judge Cooper on Monday, April 17, a temporary, administrative stay of the Second Final Rule that will remain in place for at least 14 days (i.e., through Monday, May 1); that temporary stay ensures that the D.C. Circuit has time and opportunity to consider FBME’s stay request. To read, press here. Also on Monday, April 17, FBME initiated its appeal to the D.C. Circuit, press here, and filed an emergency motion asking the D.C. Circuit to reinstate a full stay pending appeal; if granted, such a stay would remain in place and protect FBME against implementation of the Second Final Rule until its appeal is resolved. To read, press here. The D.C. Circuit has ordered FinCEN to respond to FBME’s request for emergency stay by this Friday, April 21, and FBME to reply by this Monday, April 24, such that briefing will be completed a week before the temporary stay expires. To read, press here. FBME will report further on developments surrounding its stay request at the D.C. Circuit.
10 April 2017
Following extensive reports in the press regarding the intervention of the Attorney General and the CBC to avoid any discussion in Parliament regarding the FBME issue we would like to make the following observations:
7 February, 2017
On 29 January 2017, local Cypriot newspaper Kathimerini, published an article in Greek, of which an exact translation can be found below.
4 December 2016
On 29 November 2016 Cyprus’s Administrative Court, hearing the FBME case against the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), has ordered CBC, as the Republic’s Resolution Authority and Resolution Committee, to allow FBME’s lawyers to have access to key documents related to CBC’s takeover of the Cyprus branch of FBME in July 2014.
CBC has been given seven days to comply with the order.
The order, which represents an important breakthrough in the legal proceedings, gives the FBME legal team the opportunity make a review of correspondence, reports and other documentation related to the case.
This is part of the continuing of legal actions regarding measures taken against FBME in 2014 and subsequently.
Proceedings in the Cyprus courts, at the Arbitral Tribunal of the ICC in Paris, and legal action in the US, are underway.
21 September 2016
We welcome the Court’s decision to continue to stay FinCEN’s Final Rule against FBME Bank while recognizing persisting questions as to its validity. All along, FBME has contended that FinCEN failed to provide proper notice and substantively justify its damaging measures against FBME. Following Judge Cooper’s latest ruling, we remain committed to pursuing fast, successful resolution—or else, failing that, to carry our legal challenge through to the finish. FBME’s foremost goal is to put this matter behind it and resume its orderly operations, for the sake of its depositors, its employees, and countless others who depend on it. Towards that end, the Bank remains ready and eager to work constructively with FinCEN along with all other responsible regulators.
Ayoub Farid Michel Saab
Chairman FBME Ltd
7 August 2016
By two decisions dated 27 May and 26 July 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal constituted in the ICC arbitration opposing Messrs. Ayoub Farid Michel Saab and Fadi Saab, the owners of FBME, to the Republic of Cyprus, decided that the Claimants shall be granted access to the premises of the Branch during regular business hours. Various public statements have recently been issued by the Cypriot authorities in relation to these decisions. These statements can only be characterised as misleading.
1 August 2016
The Arbitral Tribunal at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris has ordered the Republic of Cyprus to grant the shareholders and directors of FBME Bank access to the FBME premises in Cyprus. They were excluded on 31 March 2016 at the same time as the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) sacked 140 FBME employees in Cyprus.
22 July 2016
On 22 July, 2016, Judge Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered “that implementation of final rule [imposing sanctions against FBME Bank] be STAYED until further notice from this Court.” As such, FinCEN’s latest rule will not take effect while the parties await further word from the Court. Judge Cooper’s stay order II is attached here.
20 July 2016
At the end of last week it was announced by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) that Hellenic Bank, a financial institution registered in the Republic of Cyprus, had failed to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation, and ‘know-your-customer’ obligations. These omissions or weaknesses, said the CBC, arose from “… on-site examinations conducted in September 2014, covering Hellenic Bank’s activities in the preceding years.”
25 June 2016
FBME Limited, the holding company of FBME Bank Limited (the “Bank”), has learned that the CBC-appointed Special Administrator of the Bank’s Cyprus Branch is attempting to sell assets that are property of the Bank. The efforts to dispose of Bank assets are taking place without the knowledge or consent of the Bank’s Statutory Manager in Tanzania and the Bank’s home regulator.
Furthermore, these acts of the Special Administrator are occurring at a time when the Cyprus Supreme Court has yet to rule on the CBC’s application to liquidate the Bank. In short, the Special Administrator lacks the legal authority to dispose of Bank assets and is not therefore able to give good title to any prospective purchaser of such assets.
In order to protect the rights of the Bank, its depositors and owners, any purported transfer of Bank assets will accordingly be the subject of legal proceedings to set it aside in due course and prospective purchasers of such assets are put on notice of the same.