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Cruz demands fairness from FSC in Enterprise case

Nick Cruz, the non-executive chairman of Enterprise Insurance, has robustly rejected claims by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission [FSC] that it may have been misled about the collapsed firm’s true financial position.

Mr Cruz was responding to the FSC’s public statements after it emerged in court this week that Enterprise was “hopelessly insolvent” to the tune of £96m, almost four times as large a sum as was originally thought.

The FSC said the firm’s 10 directors, including Mr Cruz, would be the focus of an investigation to establish the reasons for the company’s failure.

But in a statement issued through his lawyer, Peter Caruana, QC, Mr Cruz said the FSC had pre-judged its investigation by suggesting it had been misled either deliberately or through incompetence.

Mr Cruz said it was right that the FSC should investigate the firm’s collapse and that nothing less would be acceptable and consistent with upholding Gibraltar’s reputation.

But the FSC must do so fairly, Mr Cruz insisted.

“Despite saying that it is at the initial stages of its investigation and that it has therefore not made any findings or reached any conclusions at this stage, the FSC’s statements clearly assume serious wrongdoing by the Company and its directors,” he said in the statement.

“It is absurd to say, as the FSC has done, that the insolvency of Enterprise must mean serious wrongdoing by any director, let alone all of them.”

“In any event, natural justice and due process would require such statements to have awaited the outcome and findings of the investigation, and not to precede it.”

“It would also require the directors to have been made aware of the allegations of personal wrongdoing by them and to have been afforded an opportunity to answer those allegations.”

Mr Cruz “absolutely and unreservedly” rejected as false the GFSC’s claims.

“I am deeply shocked that I find myself in Gibraltar having to publicly defend my reputation against such statements by the FSC before being given details of what I am supposed to have done wrong and an opportunity to answer,” he said.

“I call on the FSC to comply with their legal obligation to respect my human and legal rights to natural justice and due and fair process before it publicly prejudices my personal and professional reputation.”