Florida regulators examining Stanford Group

Feb 13, 2009

South Florida Business Journal--February 13, 2009

by Brian Bandell

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation has opened an examination into Stanford Group Co., an Antigua- and Barbuda-based financial firm with offices in South Florida.

OFR spokeswoman Holly Hinson would not specify the reasons for the examination.

Experts interviewed in a story by the Associated Press on Friday raised concerns that the rates of return on the bank’s deposits were significantly higher than the average market rates.

“The Florida OFR has stated to us that their visits to our offices were part of a routine examination,” said Brian Bertsch, a spokesman in Stanford Group’s New York office. “We have provided U.S. regulators with the information requested and we intend to comply with any findings or recommendations they issue.”

Stanford International Bank is licensed in the Caribbean nation and not in Florida. The company has more than 200 employees in its Miami and Boca Raton offices. Its U.S. operations include an investment brokerage, wealth management, a private client group, stock research and merchant banking.

The company also has Florida offices in Vero Beach and Long Boat Key. Stanford Group has other offices in California, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.