Alliance Finance has admitted to committing regulatory breaches and not, as has been reported in a leading newspaper, to committing financial crimes.
Our Today understands that the company admitted to a total of 36 counts, 28 under the Bank of Jamaica Act and eight under the Banking Services Act.
It is understood that prosecution of both lead principals, Robert and Peter Chin (who are brothers) in their respective personal capacities will now discontinue.
“It’s one thing to admit that your company committed regulatory breaches, quite another to say you admit to committing financial crimes,” said a leading criminal lawyer.
Last month Jamaica’s business community was astonished to hear that Alliance Financial Services Limited (AFSL) was to be charged by the Financial Investigations Division (FID) with the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) moving quickly to suspend its licences to operate a cambio and remittance business.
Both Robert and Peter Chin were expected to appear before the court on December 16 to answer charges. With the recent surge in COVID infections, the case was likely to be put back to a later time.
The case centres on the lending of foreign currency without being an authorised dealer able to do so, as well as accepting deposits without having a licence from the Bank of Jamaica to enable those transactions.
Both Peter and Robert Chin enjoyed a good reputation in the business community with both Alliance Investments and Alliance Financial Services being notable brands.
Initially the Chins sought to allay fears, saying they were not aware of any malfeasance and that they expected to be exonerated.
A leading banker, speaking under condition of anonymity, said: “This was totally unexpected. The Chin boys built a good business in particular with cambios and remittances where they made plenty of money. All that will be tarnished. The spotlight will now be placed on Jamaican finance houses and many will have to undergo regulatory hell as a result of this. Compliance will be like a doctor checking your prostate – you know what I mean?
“We are all wondering whether the brothers will be prosecuted. It’s a shame but, then again, the law has to prevail, and those kinds of things cannot be allowed to take place in Jamaica. I don’t expect to see them on the golf course anytime soon. I think the writing was on the wall when the BOJ suspended their operations.”