Hand in Hand Trust’s $822m Stanford Bank investment `impaired’ -Group CEO

Hand in Hand Trust Company’s $822m investment with the now folded Stanford Bank may well be irretrievably lost to the company, according to information reaching Stabroek Business. Speaking with this newspaper on Tuesday Hand in Hand Group of Companies, Chief Executive Officer Keith Evelyn used the term “impaired” to describe the status of the multi-million dollar investment, a term which he said might be taken to mean  that it may well be unlikely that the amount is retrievable. “It is a loss and we’ll have to record it as a loss, That is what any prudent institution would do,” Evelyn told Stabroek Business.

Hand in Hand Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer Keith Evelyn
Hand in Hand Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer Keith Evelyn

The  Hand in Hand boss told Stabroek Business that the amount represented 10.6 per cent of the Trust’s deposits and 9.2 per cent of its gross assets.  But the Hand-in-Hand Group CEO said that while the loss meant that the company’s development had been set back a few years he was confident that it would work its way back from it. He said that the company had suffered negative retained earnings of more than $200m in 2003 immediately after Hand In Hand had acquired the Trust. “We worked our way back from that and we will be seeking to work our way back from this.

Evelyn said that he had been encouraged by the fact that meetings between the Trust and investors had provided evidence of a loyalty to the institution despite the Stanford Bank saga.

Evelyn told  Stabroek  Business that Hand In Hand Trust simply “had no clue” regarding the problems facing the Stanford  Group. “We had no idea whatsoever that what was happening with Stanford was happening, We have invested with Stanford for over three years and we have always recovered our interest and our capital. Over time we have done extensive due diligence on the Stanford Bank including their overall global brand name. There is nothing in those studies that indicates any amount of risk above that of any other investment,” Evelyn said,  He disclosed that the company’s investments with Stanford had secured it more than $150m including more than around $50m last year alone.

And according to Evelyn, Hand in Hand Trust Company may have moved to withdraw its investments with the Stanford Bank once it became known that the Stanford Group was being investigated. “We don’t know what happened. What we know is that they began to investigate and we moved to withdraw our investments but we were not successful in so doing,” Evelyn said.

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