STM Group hearing called off as ‘workable solution’ arrived at

STM Group, the AIM-listed, Gibraltar-based financial services group, said today that  “regulated entities” affiliated with it that had been due to appear in court in Gibraltar next week had reached a “collaborative way forward” with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission in connection with the matter, and that as a result the scheduled hearing would no longer take place. 

As reported, the hearing had been set to take place on Monday.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, STM said “the companies” – the regulated entities in question – had arranged with the GFSC for a third-party “skilled person review” that would be carried out by Deloitte, which STM would pay for.

STM noted that earlier in 2017 it had separately assigned Deloitte to carry out an audit.

“The agreed scope” of the issue that is to be dealt with in the ongoing review by the GFSC “remains unchanged and will cover, inter alia, the effectiveness and oversight of the internal compliance function [of the regulated entities in question], which is a central service for all the Gibraltar subsidiaries, corporate governance and controls, and an assessment of any potential conflicts of interest arising across the business”, STM added, in its LSE statement.

“In addition, the review will also cover certain specific areas in relation to the pensions and life assurance business relating to take-on and monitoring procedures for intermediaries, clients and investments advised by intermediaries.”

STM added that it expected Deloitte to complete its report by 31 March. which would be “provided jointly to the GFSC and STM”, and which would potentially include recommendations “if appropriate”.

Further announcements would be made “as appropriate” once the report had been submitted, STM said.

Today’s announcement comes around two-and-a-half months after STM revealed that its chief executive, Alan Kentish, had been arrested by Gibraltar police for allegedly failing to disclose information to the authorities there about a client who had been involved in a tax dispute between two jurisdictions. Subsequently it was revealed that a second, unnamed STM executive had also been arrested at the same time.

Both were released later that day without charge, STM said at the time, adding that although the police had yet to conclude their investigation of the matter, “the advice received by Mr Kentish and by STM is that the allegations have no merit”.

In today’s statement, Kentish said: “”It is pleasing that the Gibraltar subsidiaries have been able to come to a workable solution with the Gibraltar regulator, rather than pursuing their case through the courts, which, at the end of the day, is in neither party’s interest.

“We look forward to working with Deloitte and the GFSC.”

In its statement today, STM said it would publish a trading statement for the 12 months to the end of 2017 next Wednesday.

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