Bank shuts down cheap loans

| 04/08/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Development Bank has announced the end of its Stimulus/Relief Programme that provided both counseling and financial assistance to Caymanians who were experiencing serious financial difficulty, either personally or with their business. The initiative was announced by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush in June and it received 273 requests for assistance, with CI$4,289,783 allocated to qualified individuals and businesses to stop foreclosures, consolidate personal debt, and help build small businesses that employ Caymanians. (Left: CIDB Board Chair Paul Byles)

The bank said the figure included CI$1.4 million for mortgage takeover to avoid foreclosure,CI$1.9 million for debt consolidation, CI$133,000 for arrears regularization and CI$824,000 for small business financing.

The initiative, which included offering loans as low as 1%, ran for six weeks and Paul Byles, Chairman of the Development Bank Board, said the bank would now be moving to business as usual but would also be looking to secure further funding to help with the current economic downturn.

“With the successful completion of our mandate for the Stimulus/Relief Programme our full attention can now return to our normal development banking business. We also hope to secure additional funding to assist in areas that the government has pinpointed as vital to the economic development of the Cayman Islands,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    rumours about a list being given to the bank before the program was even announced

    No one should think badly of the honest hard working staff who have worked at the CIDB for years.

    If there was such a list of political favorites, the only people who would see it would be recent political appointees. Besides it would not even be necessary to have a list – all that would be required would be for the intended recipients to be told in advance to show up with the necessary paperwork before others had a chance to get any of the funds. 

  2. F. Harbottle says:

    "For all you nosey people who want to find out other people’s business why don’t you publish your loans and private affairs. "  Because we are not taking public money to sort out our debt problems.

  3. Anonymous says:

    actually this was a good move by the cidb. I dont know if i would want to give any credit to any government or politician for this, but as far as the bank goes i think it was a good move. I support what someone said earlier that they should get access to more funds and do it again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    to the earlier poster..i work at the CIDB. pls please dont spread rumours about a list being given to the bank before the program was even announced… is not true and reflects the type of unbridled political slander that occurs on these blogs

  5. Anonymous says:

    give it a break guys…the cidb alllocated only 4 million because i am sure that is all they had..they lent it and that money is now done..dont try now to complain that there is anything wrong..try turning your attention to the retail banks who have hundreds of millions and sat idly by and watched while the economy crumbled without offering to help..

    up until now the cidb did nothing even though we were in this bad economic situation for more than a that they try to assist with the few million and they get criticised and all sorts of the usual poltical slanders goes around..

    typically cayman…so typical. it is so easy to throw slanders at our own people and politicians (and i mean politicians on either (side) but we are afraid to talk about the retail banks and how they have done least the cidb tried to assist with its minimal resources.

  6. Anonymous says:

    For all you nosey people who want to find out other people’s business why don’t you publish your loans and private affairs.  You all don’t have anything better to do than to see other people’s hard times.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Listen here I dont know if all the accusation laid here are facts; I not being a "loyal" supporter of non of the partys, called made my appointment and was approved.  When I showed up for my appointment there were several born and bred Caymanians waiting on their appointments.  In my opinion I was handle in a very professional manner and I think the program was ran professionally.  I have a co-worker who had an appointment, but when they showed up it was explained in the most professional way to her that the funds were exhausted; she understood – yes they did not call her prior, as the correct thing to do was to meet her face to face and explainthe situation.

    We have become politically divided; therefore there is something behind everything – crab in the barrel mentality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So why don’t you all do something about it? Why don’t you demand answers from your representatives? Why don’t you call them and make appointments with them? All of these things will never change unless the heat is turned up for all these MLAs etc. March in the street if you have to, but stop whining about it and take some action for a change. I know if I would have a representative (but I don’t because I can’t vot), my cell phone would be burning by now because I would have called this man so many times. The more people do it, the better. That is the only way that they will figure out they can’t carry on with doing things that way. Stop sitting back and letting them walk all over you. They are YOUR representatives. It is time you remind them!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Normally, the amount of money given in loans in individuals, combined with the names of the individuals receiving the loans, would be seen as personal information and therefore exempt from disclosure. However, under the law, information that is exempted through being personal information is also subject to a "public interest test," which in the case of these loans could be argued to override the protections of personal information. It may very well be in the "public interest" to know who was given these loans, and in what amount, considering the circumstances in which they were granted. If someone were to make the FOI request, they can probably expect to be stonewalled at the initial level, but stand a fairly decent chance of getting the information released by an internal review or appeal to the ICO. You never know until you try!

  10. Anonymous says:

    RE: Would love to see who got all this money. Would love to see who got all this money.

    WE WILL NEVER KNOW CAYMAN, that’s the way things will work around here for the next four years.



  11. Anonymous says:

    Good.  Why should the state bail out individuals who can’t handle their debt? 

  12. Anonymous says:

    I would bet that a FOI request would be resisted, perhaps well beyond the full extent to the law. What would be really informative would be to cross-reference the so-called "loans" with any payments made to the party, politicians and officials.

    • Anonymous says:

      The crying on this site shows, amongst other things, that the CIDB should be provided with more funds to help in these tough economic times (and I believe that it will very shortly).

  13. Anonymous says:

    It causes me pain to read the posts from my fellow Caymanians that were deceived and badly treated by this false offer of help. Those that are honourable and follow the rules will have a hard time for the next few years but we must be strong and not corrupted in our beliefs or our actions despite what we see happening around us. There will undoubtedly be many more such abuses to follow. Pray for Cayman and be patient with the people who are left to give you the bad news. They are just following the orders of those that brag about what a success it all is for them. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anya Solomon the same thing happen to me and my wife we waited three weeks for our appointment and when we went to the bank we did not even get a chance to set down at the conference table and we where already told that there is no stimulus money if that’s what we were there for.

    After three weeks of waiting why could they not call us and tell us that the appointment was cancelled because of no money.

    But yet I know someone that she does not have any collateral   and she was told to buy some vehicles and a building for her business and they would lend her the money.


    I also heard that there was a list of people who our government officials gave to the bank before they annouced to help anyone with monies and that’s where is all went.  Left us with just a big joke to deal with.

    Then I also heard that the monies was given to Government Employees well that’s great, but what happen to us my wife is a government employee???????????

  15. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise…….this was all about bailing out a few of the UDP suppporters. Now the little pittance which certainly was no stimulus package is punto finale !!! Do these people even know what a stimulus package should look like ?


    SHAME SHAME SHAME………….check to see how many of these loans/mortgages are delinquent in due course. FOI will be used now….yeahh !

  16. Anonymous says:

    I also made an appointment, waited 4 weeks, then was called last week and told (quite rudely) that the "money was done" and "it didn’t make sense" for me to come down there to keep the appointment.  What a joke.

    • Anonymous says:

       RE: Would love to see who got all this moneyWould love to see who got all this money.

      After seeing all those posts about who got and who didnt get , is it possible to get a ‘transparency’ or FOI list of where our money went.  And how about finding out if and when it is paid back?

  17. Bernie Madeoff With My Money says:

    Would love to see who got all this money. The Good Ol’ Boy system is so alive and well in Cayman its about the only thing that works. If this was government money handed out by government appointees then the public should be able to see who, what and where got the money. Nothing done wrong, nothing to hide then. The red flag I see in this is the $1.9 million CI paid out for debt consolidation. This sounds risky as all hell since that could be any sort of debt including credit card bills or even a car loan. Why is the government paying for consumer based debt? But it sure sounds like a cush deal for whoever got their money.

    And it is indeed interesting to se that the money dried up in a month and without even getting any of it back,  Byles claims a big success. Do we even know if this saved any businesses or helped the economy in a prolonged way? This sounds like a give away and for real people, how the hell will the governent recoup this money? Anyways, I guess Desmond Seales didn’t get his cut and that’s why he took his gripe to one of his uber long winded editorials that only long winded politicians canfinish reading. Cayman, you sold your soul a long time ago and the devil is coming to collect. The party is surely over.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hope CIDB not banking on collecting any re-payments on these so called ‘loans’……..pretty much a ‘legal’ handout to UDP supporters is what this boils down to!

  19. Anonymous says:

    i think the retail banks should haev done somethng similar. after all they are the ones with the funds to do it. fact is there is little that the cidb or any other govt body can do with limited funds.  the retails banks have NOT stepped up to the plate when the chips are down.

    • Anonymous says:

      This was an excellent idea and one that further funds should be allocated towards in these difficult economic times that is further worsened by the wasteful spending of the PPM.

  20. Anonymous says:

    CIDB – Business as Usual . . . .unfortunately!!!!

    CIDB continues to be an underutilised/misused resource.  It simply amazes me that the retail banks offer cheaper loans and mortgages under the "Business as Usual" heading.  CIDB, as the "Government’s Bank" does not participate in any of the government guaranteed home assisted mortgage programmes!!!! Why?  

    $4 million dollars used up in six weeks, hello people wake up and smell the coffee (or Milo)!!  Mr. Byles how dare you go public and declare "successful completion of our mandate"?  $4 million dollars is only a drop in a bucket of the money that needs to be commited.  Our society has some serious finance problems, so why does CIDB charge more than any other entity in the Cayman Islands on the single largest expense item for nearly all people – MORTGAGES?

    Please educate the Caymanian Public  Mr. Byles with the lending rates for various lengths of mortgages by the retail banks, CIDB and any other financial institutions.  Also clarify it the rates are fixed or variable, if there are any prepayment penalties and the basic down payment requirements.

    Talking about fixed rates loans/mortgages?  It appears that CIDB is following the retail banks in offering variable rate only mortgages, but I could be wrong.  Mark my words, Caymanian Public, variable rate mortgages are going to lead to plenty of problems in the future.  The U.S. Prime Rate has not been this low since August 4, 1955.  People getting in now at the low rates need to realize that the Prime Rate will go up and up and up (so will your payments) – hope you have this planned out in your budgets.

    My challenge to our Government, CIDB and the retail banks is to work on this very simple issue  by providing fixed rate mortgages.  CIDB, as a not-for profit organisation should be able to provide the lowest rates.  The retail banks are profit-oriented businesses and have little incentive to provide lower fixed rates.

    Government is in the situation to enact legislation that is beneficial to the Caymanian public.

    So those of you out there who have the Government Minister’s ears please spread this vital information to them.  Unna UDP and PPM need to stop all the bickering – the time and effort you spend on this can be better spend on issues like this.



    Sign me,

    Positive suggestion to Consider

  21. Anya Solomon says:

    After the announcement was made I followed the protocol and phoned to schedule an appointment.  They gave me a date and i patiently waited.  I constantly heard people brag about how they did not set an appointment but merely walked in because they new people who worked at the bank and bypassed the structured procedures.  After weeks of waiting i went to my appointment Friday only to be told that my appointment was cancelled because of insufficient funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anya it was designed to bail out Jamaicans/UDP supporters (in other words persons to whom the law doesn’t apply so of course they barged in and demanded funds). Since you are law abiding and a Caymanian you didn’t have a chance in hell. That’s the way the wind blows my dear. Don’t you see they’re now being appointed to all our boards. We haven’t seen anything yet just wait until more of them get Residency/Status.