Credit Finance ‘an extension of government’, GSD says
The GSD has said its concerns over Credit Finance Company Limited and its role in supporting the Gibraltar Government’s “extravagant capital spending programme” have been confirmed.
In a statement, the party explained that the company has now finally filed audited accounts for the five years ended December 31, 2017 at Companies House.
And, according to GSD MP Roy Clinton, these confirm the GSD’s concern that Credit Finance Company Limited “was just a method used by the GSLP/Liberals to channel people’s money deposited with the Gibraltar Savings Bank to the Government to support its extravagant capital spending programme”.
Mr Clinton, who holds the role of shadow Minister for Public Finance, added that at the same time as the GSLP/Liberals claimed to be reducing official borrowing, it was causing Government companies to borrow from Credit Finance instead.
“A review of Credit Finance Company Limited’s assets at 31 December 2017 shows that 97% of these relate to loans or investments to the Government, Government owned companies or public statutory bodies and loans and equity investments in Shell LNG Gibraltar Limited,” he said.
“Credit Finance Company Limited has no employees and its activities point to it being an extension of the Government and not a private commercial venture as Government has tried to pretend.”
“Its income is mainly sourced from lending to other Government owned companies.”
“We have been refused information as to what the £328 million borrowed by Government companies from Credit Finance is being used for or how much cash remains of this borrowing.”
According to Mr Clinton, a future GSD Government would seek to redeem the Savings Bank’s £400 million holding of preference shares and ultimately close down Credit Finance Company Limited.
“This will ensure that Government has to account publicly for these borrowing, which is in the interests of public finance transparency and accountability something that the GSLP/Liberals do not understand,” he said.
In a statement the GSD reiterated that Credit Finance Company Limited, which was created in “secrecy” by the GSLP/Liberal Government in February 2012, has been the subject of intense political questioning and debate in efforts to uncover its activities.
It added that on October 29, 2013 the entire GSD Opposition including Sir Peter Caruana and Daniel Feetham walked out of Parliament in protest because the Government refused to answer important questions as to Credit Finance’s investments.
Credit Finance Company Limited, in which the Gibraltar Savings Bank has an investment of £400 million in preference shares, has now finally filed audited accounts for the five years ended 31 December 2017 at Companies House, the party said.