Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fugitive Banker Gives His Side of Story re TIBC

Frank Kane over at The National conducted an interview with Glen Stewart which was in the June 8 issue of The National.

To set the stage, as I understand it, there are two contentions central to the TIBC/Awal/AlGosaibi/Saad Group saga:
  1. That there was massive fraud at the these entities which was the direct cause of their apparent collapse.
  2. That Mr. AlSanea was improperly exercising control over TIBC and certain AlGosaibi units (the entity mentioned most was AlGosaibi's Money Exchange).  As noted in the article, a charge that Mr. AlSanea strongly disputes.
In his interview Mr. Stewart addresses the second.  He flatly contradicts the AlGosaibi's assertion that Mr. AlSanea was not authorized to exercise control over TIBC and the Money Exchange

What he does not appear to address in this interview is the first allegation.

I would also be very interested in Mr. Stewart's thoughts on the Ernst and Young report.  As per that report, it seems the CEO of TIBC had very limited authority.  Mr. Stewart deferred to Mr. AlSanea on decision making on just about every matter.  Beyond that there was the curious case of payment approvals.  E&Y stated that Mr. AlSanea used Mr. Stewart's password to release payments.  As I noted at the time I commented on the E&Y Report, it is very unusual for a CEO to be involved in  the operational aspects of releasing payments.  And giving another person one's password is generally considered a violation of segregation of duties and dual control.  

It would be highly useful to know how Mr. Stewart:
  1. Saw his role as Chief Executive Officer at TIBC  and how that might compare and contrast to CEO's at other banks.  What precisely were the duties of TIBC's CEO and what were those of  Mr. AlSanea?  Is it good form for a CEO to give his password to a third party?  What does it mean when a person in the position of CEO apparently has no power to make any material decision? 
  2. Understood  the requirements of Central Bank of Bahrain regulations regarding corporate governance. And, what if any, disclosures regarding Mr. AlSanea's role were made to the Central Bank.
Perhaps, Mr. Kane will have the opportunity to do another interview with Mr. Stewart.

One thing is abundantly clear from this interview and that is the emotional pain and suffering of Mr. Stewart.  Adding to that distress, we learn in this article that he felt abandoned by his own country in the midst of the "arbitrary actions and retaliations of the Bahraini legal system".   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the response of the Government of Bahrain, the spokesperson states that a fraud involving billions of dollars took place on an international level-not that allegations had been made or that an alleged fraud was being investigated. Also,no charges have been filed after a year of investigation in which every transaction that ever took place was reviewed.
In the first instance, the spokesman
for Bahrain clearly states that a massive fraud of international scope took place without any charges being made or before any judge reviewed the case or it ever went to trial. This means prima facie that there is a lack of due process of law as Mr. Stewart feared.
Also, justice delayed is justice denied.