Manx Herald 15 May 09: Treasury indulges in self congratulations over finance industry award but

Thu, 14/05/2009

Perhaps if awards were on offer for ‘centre for incompetence’ or for ‘believing your own twisted propaganda and PR’ the IOM would have been a more deserving winner.

The Treasury Minister, Allan Bell is basking in self-glory following the announcement that Isle of Man Finance, and a number of IOM based businesses, have been given awards by an investment industry magazine.

A press release issued by the Treasury states that Mr Bell had this to say:

“I am particularly pleased that the awards also reflect the success of our Isle of Man institutions and recognise their commitment to providing clients with expert services and products. All in all the awards are a further endorsement of the quality of the Isle of Man’s financial services industry and further enhance our reputation as a centre of excellence”.

Tell that to the depositors in KSF (IOM) who are increasingly realizing that the IOM is anything but “expert” in providing financial services or looking after clients’ money.

Currently it appears the Treasury can not even find somebody who can add up a set of figures; to work out how much money customers had deposited with KSF (IOM) and what the bank had then done with it.

Customers with IOM licensed companies, such as Premier Low Risk Fund PLC, a misnomer if ever there was one, may also want to know how ‘low risk’ funds turned sizeable investments into very much smaller ones, and how this equates to a claim for being a “centre of excellence”.

Perhaps if awards were on offer for ‘centre for incompetence’ or for ‘believing your own twisted propaganda and PR’ the IOM would have been a more deserving winner.

Meanwhile the trustee liquidating the Madoff management company, which is alleged to have swindled investors of billions of dollars, is suing a Cayman’s based hedge fund, Harley International. The claim is that Harley International should have known Madoff was engaged in fraud.

Harley International used the services of Fortis Prime Fund Solutions (IOM); although a spokesman for the firm told the Manx Herald they only provided standard administration services and no management services or investment advice. Furthermore, he said they had not been attached as a party to any legal actions.

Even so, many people, even if you have done nothing wrong, are still likely to judge you by the company you keep or are associated with, which can be just as damaging to reputation.

Therefore, perhaps companies in the IOM should be doubly sure of ‘knowing their customer’, and their business, become ever more discerning in who they deal with; and if still in doubt walk away.

Some how the Manx Herald doubts anything will change.

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