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Finance Minister says SSL managers must account for stewardship of troubled firm

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke says former directors and managers at investment firm Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) will have to give an account of their stewardship amid a massive fraud which had been occurring at the entity for 13 years.

Dr. Clarke is also questioning the findings of a special audit which was ordered by the Financial Services Commission on the off-balance sheet portfolio of SSL in January 2020.

No concern was raised by the auditors about the company's balance sheet portfolio. 

"The assets in the off-book balance sheet were $34 billion and the client liabilities were $34 billion. Everything matched. After equity adjustments, the assets in the off-balance sheet book $31 billion, the liabilities in the off-balance sheet book $31 billion," he revealed.   

Dr. Clarke said there are questions that should be answered by the auditors, including what procedures were used to provide the audits. 

"The regulators depend on third parties to provide external audits. If there's a direction to get an audit and the audit comes back satisfactory, the FSC cannot act on that point. On the other hand, if an audit is directed and the audit cannot come back, the FSC has an avenue to act on that point," he outlined.