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Bank of Nevis International entitled to restitution from Regulator of International Banking and the Regulator of the Nevis Financial Services Department

Nevis, 1st March, 2023 — Michael J. Prest, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Nevis International Limited (BONI) , has won a significant High Court case against the Regulator of International Banking in St. Kitts & Nevis. The High Court quashed the Regulator’s decision that sought to restrict Mr. Prest from intervening in the operations of BONI. The court declared that the Regulator and Regulator of International Banking had no authority to restrict his activities.

The High Court agreed with BONI to quash Cease and Desist Orders issued by the Regulator of International Banking and the Regulator of the Nevis Financial Service Department and also fines improperly issued against BONI.

A spokesperson for Mr. Prest said:

Mr Prest is encouraged that the St. Kitts & Nevis judicial system has proven to be robust. The judgment is a beacon of light for all those who never had the means to defend themselves against Public Officials acting improperly. This ruling vindicates his position that the Regulators acted with impunity and outside of their authority and were not making innocent mistakes in their attempts to restrict his  business activities. He and BONI are looking forward to drawing a line under this episode and focussing all their efforts on growing a world-class financial institution based in Nevis and creating well paid jobs and opportunities for young people looking for careers in financial services.”

For more information, please visit:

www.michaeljprest.com

To download the full judgement, please visit:

Judgment Re Bank of Nevis Vs Regulator of Nevis Financial Services

About the case:

The High Court of Justice in St. Kitts & Nevis has ruled in favour of Michael J Prest, Petrodel and Bank of Nevis International (BONI).

Key points from the ruling:

  • Petrodel Investment Advisers (Nevis) Ltd (“Petrodel”) and Michael J Prest (“Prest”) were entitled to an order overruling the decision of the Regulator of International Banking to issue the letter dated June 23rd, 2021 which restricted Petrodel and Prest from intervening in the day-to-day operations of Bank of Nevis International Limited (“BONI”).
  • Petrodel and Prest were entitled to a declaration that the Regulator of International Banking had no authority to restrict the activities of Petrodel.
  • BONI was entitled to orders for quashing the decisions of the Regulator of International Banking and the Regulator of the Nevis Financial Service Department to issue a Cease and Desist Order dated June 22, 2021, and fines of EC$10,000.00 and US$120,000.00 against BONI.
  • Declarations were made that the Regulators had no authority to issue the Cease and Desist Orders and fines, and restitution to BONI of the fines of EC$10,000.00 and US$120,000.00 together with interest at the rate of 2½% from the 29th of March 2022 to the date of judgment.
  • The Regulators were not authorized to issue the cease and desist orders and fines against BONI as the power to issue such orders and decision-taking powers are fundamental to the powers vested in the Financial Services Regulatory Commission.
  • The position of the Banking Regulator is weaker than that of the Financial Services Regulator, and the Banking Regulator was not authorized to levy fines or issue letters which restricted the activities of Petrodel, the shareholder of BONI.
  • BONI argued that the Regulators were acting with bad faith when they purported to issue cease and desist letters and levy fines that they knew or ought to have known they were not lawfully authorized to do. The Court ruled that while Regulators were not acting with bad faith, their actions were not trivial or innocent mistakes.
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