operations here. And officials of Verus International, responding today
to the bank regulator’s advisory issued on Tuesday, said the warning was due to a “misunderstanding” and that the company was a legitimate enterprise doing business in Barbados.
They revealed that the Central Bank had indicated in writing that it had a problem with Verus’ use of the term merchant bank and as a result the entity is now calling itself “a private investment firm” with operations here and in New York.
“Verus International is in receipt of correspondence from the Central Bank of Barbados setting out its objection to the use of the term ‘merchant bank’ to describe its commercial activities,” the company said in a statement. “Verus International is cooperating with the Central Bank and would like to clarify the situation as follows:
Verus International is a private investment firm and licensed under the International Business Companies Act in Barbados since 1999.
“Any statement or misunderstanding to the contrary is regretted,” it added. The company also committed itself to Barbados and
the region, saying, “Verus International looks forward to its continued investment in Barbados and the Caribbean region as well as the launch of the Caribbean Premier League in August.”
In the warning notice the Central Bank said: “It has come to the attention of the Central Bank of Barbados that Verus International, a company incorporated in Barbados, is describing itself as a merchant bank based in Barbados.
“The Central Bank of Barbados warns the public that Verus International is not licensed to engage in merchant banking, or any other activity regulated by the Central Bank of Barbados, in or from within Barbados.
“Members of the public who transact business with Verus International do so at their own risk. A list of financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of Barbados is published on its website under the main link Financial System.”
Accompanying today’s statement by Verus was a description of the company. It read: “Verus International is a private investment firm based in Barbados and New York. Founded by President and Chairman, Ajmal Khan, Verus invests its capital directly into companies. The Verus team has a global focus on proprietary investment opportunities with resources, expertise and relationships that can be leveraged to create significant value for its portfolio companies and strategic partners. The company also manages the private family office for the Khan family.”
This is a change, since up to late Tuesday the description on the company’s Website said in part, “Verus International is a merchant bank based in Barbados and New York. Founded by Chairman and CEO, Ajmal Khan, Venus invests its capital directly into companies and provides merchant banking and advisory services for a select group of strategic partners. (SC)