Pintard to move for parliamentary committee to investigate FTX

Opposition Leader Michael Pintard gave notice that he intends to call for the establishment of a parliamentary select committee to investigate the collapse of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that was based in The Bahamas.

“The inquiry would look at our legislation, policies, interaction with the company, government officials’ interactions with the company and its officials in an official or unofficial capacity,” Pintard said in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

“We do not expect to cut across the judicial insolvency related to investigations ongoing in which the joint provisional liquidators who are court appointed will report to the court. We support this process taking its course.”

FTX, which relocated its headquarters to The Bahamas in 2021, collapsed in November 2022 following allegations that customer funds were being inappropriately used. The company’s United States (US) and international entities filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. The Bahamas-based entity of FTX was put into liquidation.

Pintard said the committee will investigate if the government invested any Bahamian resources into FTX at any level in any jurisdiction; the nature and extent of the government’s due diligence; the impact of FTX’s collapse on The Bahamas; the nature of the relationship between politically exposed people and FTX; among other things.

“This call for the establishment of the select committee on FTX is to ensure transparency [and] public oversight in this matter, which is one of international concern,” Pintard said.

“Without a proper inquiry, the country will be left to endure a credibility problem and may be cast in a light of not sufficiently mature to be regarded by the international financial community as a responsible jurisdiction for this kind of economic activity.”

Prime Minister Philip Davis has said that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) received no money from FTX.

FTX opened an office in The Bahamas exactly three weeks after the PLP came to office in 2021.

Davis, who joined FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for a ceremonial ribbon cutting, said the arrival of FTX in The Bahamas was a testament that the country was headed down the right path in becoming a fintech hub.

The prime minister was also present when the company broke ground on its $60 million headquarters last April. The plans and sketches revealed at the ceremony showed two hotel towers, offices and an athletics center.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.

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