Commercial Bank in Tonga loses license

Tonga’s National Reserve Bank has announced that it has revoked the Pacific International Commercial Bank’s (PICB) license with immediate effect today Tuesday 27.

The Reserve Bank has “advised the public not to transact with any business or person purporting to trade in the name Pacific International Commercial Bank”.

“Members of the public will be advised later of the procedure for the payout of any amount owing to depositors and creditors”, NRB said.

In early 2015 an application had been placed before the Tongan Supreme Court to hear a case brought by Nukuʻalofa Investment Ltd for liquidating the bank.

The PICB was established after Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu  led a delegation of Tongan business agents to China in 2010 and began operating on April 7, 2014. It was officially opened in Nuku’alofa by His Majesty King Tupou VI.

Chinese millionaire Mr Jianhua Hu promised the bank would help boost the country’s economy and brings more overseas investors to Tonga.

At the time the bank promised it would set its interest rates at six percent, the lowest rate in the kingdom.

A number of sources, including International Banker have described Princess Pilolevu and Jianhua Hu as major shareholders of the bank.

However, Kaniva News has been informed by a spokesman for the Princess that she holds only eight percent of the shares in the bank.

According to the Tongan Business Registry and other sources, the Princess was a director of the bank until April 8, 2013.

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