Caribbean Premier League forgot to ask “When is a bank not a bank?”
by Googly Spinner
The West Indies Cricket Board just learned a lesson about the word ‘assume’. It’s that old lesson that if I ‘assume’ something it can make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. Ass-u-me.
Yes, the Caribbean Premier League was a multi-million dollar deal with a big press announcement, pretty girls, lots of champagne and little cracker things – but somebody didn’t do their homework. Now all involved are more than a little embarrassed by the Barbados Central Bank announcement that the league source of funding and investment, Verus International ‘Merchant Bank’, is not a merchant bank in Barbados.
Verus International is nothing more than a name in a shoebox on a shelf in one of those cozy little offices where a thousand offshore companies operate from a single desk. It is not licensed to operate as a bank in Barbados but even the news media called Verus a “Private Merchant Bank operating in Barbados“
That’s Barbados offshore corporations for you and that’s alright so long as everybody knows how things are… except that Verus International claimed they were a merchant bank operating in Barbados. The Versus International website doesn’t say that now, and they replaced their old website with a single page while they pedal faster to remove all the evidence on the internet. The Wayback archives never forget though!
Whether Verus International is licensed to be a Merchant Bank in Barbados might matter or it might not. Not much of the offshore money stays here anyway – Barbados is mostly a transit point for moving funds around, not a final destination.
Or… the lack of a banking license and government oversight and regulations might be important if things go bad.
Not a good beginning for the CPL deal because it shows that the West Indies Cricket Board management doesn’t do their basic homework and due diligence. That fault can make any organisation meat on a stick for the predators who can smell weakness and inexperience from miles away.