Gov’t guarantees local loans

Help is on the
way for those waiting for home mortgage loans, small business loans and student
loans from the Cayman Islands Development Bank.

The Cayman
Islands Legislative Assembly approved a government guarantee for a US $5
million secure through First Caribbean on behalf of the development bank.

Premier
McKeeva Bush said the development bank has about $2 million worth of loans
“in the pipeline” awaiting approval.

Some $735,000
was for mortgage loans, another $1.1 million was for business loans and another
$100,000 was needed for student loans, Mr. Bush said.

The government
guarantee to First Caribbean was solely to support development bank loans, the
total of which was not to exceed US $5 million.

Mr. Bush said
the development bank has limited funds available to front cash to loan applicants.

As of 16
February, the Premier said, the development bank had $473,054 on hand in cash and
$743,215 from a bank overdraft facility, which essentially means the organisation
is overdrawn.

US$5 million
was the most government could guarantee at the moment.

“I would
wish to do more, but we can’t at this time,” Mr. Bush said.

The total
operating deficit for Cayman’s entire public sector was projected to
reach $56 million by 30 June, 2010. Nearly $50 million of that gap was in
central government, according to figures produced by the financial secretary’s
office.

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