On what basis did Dr Thomas come to the conclusion that Hand-in-Hand did not do due diligence on its Stanford investments?

Dear Editor,

In your newspaper (‘Guyana and the wider world,’ Sunday Stabroek March 15, page13), Dr Clive Thomas in an article entitled ‘A crisis of credibility’ stated, “It does not augur well that the central bank let senior management of the Hand-in-Hand Trust Corporation plead that several other depositors in the Stanford Financial Group got burnt, as if this was justification for their failure to do ‘due diligence.’”

Given that Dr Thomas is a well respected scholar, he must be aware of the level of authority people who read his articles would be inclined to ascribe to them. Equally, he must as an academic and teacher know the necessity of properly researching all his public assertions or implications to ensure that he is making accurate and fair contentions both in fact and in context, particularly when they are injurious to people and institutions in the public eye.

Kindly therefore for the benefit of us all allow me to use your newspaper to humbly ask Dr Thomas to be gracious enough to truthfully and unequivocally reply to the following questions:

When, where and how did the senior management of Hand-in-Hand ever make such a plea?

What enquiry or research, if any, did Dr Thomas conduct that led him to conclude that Hand-in-Hand Trust Corporation had failed to conduct ‘due diligence’ exercises on its Stanford investments?

Assuming that proper research and evaluation indeed led Dr Thomas to his conclusion, what form of ‘due diligence’ did Hand-in-Hand fail to conduct that any other prudent investor, perhaps Dr Thomas himself, would have conducted?

And last, would Dr Thomas be able to let us know what type of findings in his interpretation of ‘due diligence’ would have indicated whether or not an investor should or should not have invested in Stanford International Bank, or foretold the current imbroglio?

Yours faithfully,
Keith Evelyn
Group CEO
The Hand-in-Hand Group of Companies

Editor’s note

We are sending a copy of this letter to Professor Clive Thomas for any comments he might wish to make.

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