WHO WE ARE
On December 10th, 2019, a moratorium period was declared by the Central bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten regarding the account holders with savings or deposits of over ANG 10.000,- on their accounts at Girobank N.V. This meant that Girobank froze all balances above ANG 10.000,- and was not required to make any further repayments to these account holders. At that moment, Girobank held about 28.000 client accounts.
Approximately 8% percent of its clients, accounting for about 2.200 accounts, were negatively affected by this development because they held a balance greater than ANG 10.000,-. In fact, the majority of Girobank clients were able to continue using their accounts normally to make and receive payments. Pension holders were also able to continue to receive their monthly payments.
Unfortunately, not only large entities but several smaller businesses and foundations were among the 8% affected by this moratorium. And this was made worse by the COVID crisis that hit Curaçao just 4 months later.
The Curaçao government’s Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten negotiated with the government of the Netherlands to reach a settlement solution that will pay back ALL natural individuals and most SMEs who hold an account at Girobank.
Key to this solution was the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle in late December 2020 to resolve the pay-out issue for Girobank clients. This Special Purpose Vehicle is called GI-RO Settlement Holding N.V., GSH for short.
The island government of Curaçao received a ANG 170 million loan from the Netherlands government. In return, GSH received a ANG 170 million loan from the Curaçao government. This loan is used to settle the pay-outs to Girobank’s clients up to a maximum of ANG 1.2 million. In return, Girobank has delivered (ceded) its entire loan portfolio to GSH as repayment for the loan.
On February 12th, 2021, the Court of First Instance in Curaçao confirmed the validity and legality of this structure. Subsequently, in the month of April 2021, Girobank commenced paying out over 2.000 depositors.
GSH fulfills a singular and essential task for the island of Curaçao, and its obligations towards the loan received from the Netherlands, under the strict supervision of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. During a period of at least 10 years, the Curaçao government must repay this loan to the Netherlands, and additional returns must be achieved from the loan portfolio in order to pay back institutions with a credit balance exceeding ANG 1.2 million at Girobank. In that light, GSH employs about 25 persons with one single goal: achieve a maximum return on GSH’s loan portfolio.