Statement: Opposition calls for the repayment of CI$20 million owed to the people of the Cayman Islands

News that Cayman National Corporation (CNC), the parent company of Cayman National Bank – Cayman’s last remaining Caymanian owned bank has been recommended for sale by CNC Board of Directors, have prompted Opposition members to demand the urgent repayment of the CI$20million investment made in its previous subsidiary insurance company, Cayman General Insurance.

The investment in Cayman General Insurance Ltd, which was subsequently sold to Cayman First Insurance, was made after Hurricane Ivan under the direction of the Hon. Mckeeva Bush, the then Leader of Government Business.

Regrettably, rather than accepting shares in Cayman National Corporation, the Government foolishly chose to accept shares in the failing insurance subsidiary.

Two further shares issued by the insurance company have devalued the Government’s investment to a paltry CI $6.3million.

Compounding the Government’s initial bad investment is the news that just over CI$1million in dividends have been received to date.

The Hon. Ezzard Miller, Opposition Leader said:

“This is another short-sighted decision made by McKeeva Bush, and clearly by the lack of action, supported by the Hon. Alden Mclaughlin and his PPM led Unity Government.

“The Opposition would like to see McKeeva use the same amount of energy he is using to push for the port into getting the remainder of our CI$20million investment back.

Mr. Chris Saunders, MLA for Bodden Town West, stated that at the rate dividends are being repaid it will take approximately 95 years for the people of the Cayman Islands to recoup all of the initial CI$20million investment.

“Our grandchildren children won’t even see or benefit for a penny of that money!

“For too long, people in positions of trust and leadership have used and abused the people’s money to hide their bad decisions and have lost sight of fact that it was earned from the sweat and sacrifices of hard-working Caymanians, residents and businesses.

“The monies lost could have been used to improve the lives of the Caymanian people and their families.

The Opposition contends that since CNC’s board believes that “the Partial Offer is a good opportunity for Cayman National shareholders to realise the value of their investment in Cayman National,” that they should do the right thing and ensure that the Caymanian people also realise their investment in their then subsidiary, Cayman General Insurance.

Mr. Saunders adds

“We want and demand that our investment is repaid once Cayman National Bank is swallowed up and is no longer Caymanian owned.

“The people of the Cayman Islands made that investment because Cayman National Corporation and its subsidiaries were majority owned and operated by the people of the Cayman Islands.

“This will no longer be the case once a majority of its shares are sold.

Office of the Leader of the Opposition