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By Chris Steyn
Banking giant Investec has pulled the plug on Global and Local, the investment advisory firm linked to the BHI Ponzi scheme that has lost investors billions.
The bank informed clients of its decision in an official letter yesterday (9 November 2023).
Its move came on the same day that BizNews reported on preliminary investigations by independent forensic investigator Bart Henderson and a group of veteran investigators suggesting that Global and Local founder Michael Haldane has – through a network of at least 11 special purpose or related party vehicles and entities, made up of companies local and offshore – enabled and benefitted massively from the BHI Fund. The network of entities uncovered so far numbers 16.
Detailing its move, Investec stated: “In terms of the termination notification sent to the Intermediary, Investec has given the Intermediary 90 days’ notice to close all Corporate Cash Manager (“CCM”) accounts introduced by the Intermediary.”
The bank further told clients: “We hereby provide you with written notification and regret to inform you that your CCM account will be closed in 90 days from the date hereof…
“Furthermore, for the avoidance of doubt, from the date hereof…the Intermediary shall not be entitled to enter into new Transactions from your CCM account.”
The letter from Investec continued: “Kindly instruct the Intermediary to transfer the full credit balance in your CCM account into your primary bank account or a nominated account held in your name with immediate effect and by no later than the 90th (ninetieth) day from the date hereof (the “Notice Period”).
“Please note that Investec shall prohibit any payments from your CCM account to third parties. Upon expiry of the Notice Period and in the event that the Intermediary has failed to transfer the credit balance out of any of your CCM accounts, Investec will suspend the relevant CCM account/s and any credit balance due to you shall only be claimable (in full) by you subject to due diligence processes by Investec.”
Read the letter from Investec here in full:
Haldane has not responded to emails from BizNews.
He did write a letter of his own to Global & Local clients in which he stated: “…Over the past two decades, the BHI Trust has proven to be a reliable and profitable investment option for our valuable clients, our families and us. All of us have not only seen significant and sustainable growth in our investments with BHI Trust but have also been able to consistently access and make use of those funds as and when necessary. Until now, we have had no reason to suspect any unlawfulness regarding the BHI Trust.”
However, he added: “To date, we can confirm that we have lodged criminal charges against Mr. Craig Warriner, based on the allegations in the several media reports that have come to our attention. We are also in the process of conducting an investigation to determine the ultimate fate of your and our investments in the BHI Trust, with a view of potentially instituting civil proceedings (if so advised in due course once we are appraised of all of the facts) and filing regulatory complaints against the BHI Trust and Mr. Craig Warriner with industry regulators, such as the FSCA, if so advised.
“This involvement – we hope – will assist in unravelling the facts, leading to proceedings for the recovery of those investments. This, we are advised, is a long-term process, and is something that we will be in contact about as and when developments occur.”
In his comment, veteran independent forensic investigator Bart Henderson says: “Patently Investec sees what I saw when BHI started tumbling, unacceptable risk exposure, both reputational and potential liability in regards to the intermediary, being Global and Local. Investec would be informed by numerous laws and regulations governing banking and investment, not least of which but importantly would be FICA and among other the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) provisions and requirements. This comes as absolutely no surprise.”
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