A new trouble free DFC Print
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Thursday, 08 February 2018 00:00

Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, posted the following on his Facebook page on Thursday February 1:

“10 years at the helm of the DFC and not a peep of scandal... in fact it’s the opposite, the CDB gives the DFC, under her watch, the largest loan portfolio ever.... powerful lady... salute to Mrs. Natalie Ewing Goff!

He followed up stating:

“Truly happy to see that so many from all walks of life and even political persuasion agree that she is of such high character and ability. Mrs Goff insists that she does it with the support of a great staff at the DFC.”

And if he hadn’t said it we would not have noticed. The DFC has come a long way. Last week the Caribbean Development Bank gave the institution 40 million dollars as part of the 8th line of credit to unlend to Belizean enterprises. These include for the tourism, manufacturing, fishing, agriculture, the residential sector, and student loans. They will also be able to assist in the area of entrepreneurship to help develop micro-sector enterprises and small businesses.

But the DFC has not always been this way. During the wild days of the PUP administration between 1998 and 2008, the corporation was used as a slush fund used to finance any and all failed hustles brought by PUP cronies. Most famously was the 30 million dollars given to the Novelo brothers in one they, the full amount was never repaid.

The DFC also survived a commission of inquiry that catalogued how, over the course of years it was pillaged by the PUP. It had become so bad that the IDB had recommended that the DFC be liquidated. Quoting from a news article from December 6, 2004, 7 News it reads as follows quoting from an IDB report: “The report notes that 35% of the DFC’s loans are non-performing. It also shows that the largest 50 loans DFC made, amount to $160 million, about 46% of the total amount owed. And the prize gem in this crown of ruin is the bankrupt Novelo’s company, which is responsible for $35 million in DFC debt, fully 10% of the portfolio.

The report also singles out for poor performance Universal Health Services which owes DFC $12 million, and has another $17 million in debt to local commercial banks guaranteed by the DFC meaning that DFC is responsible for about $30 million dollars of Universal’s debt. And the report confirms, that “Universal is not able to service its debt.” More than that, the credit files show that no financial projections or feasibility study was done before DFC’s board committed this $30 million of publicly guaranteed funds. The report also singles out for poor performance, a $5.9 million loan to Northern Fishermen, and $5.1 million to Royal Palm Villas on San Pedro.” The DFC floundered through it all until 2008 when the UDP took office. Then and there a decision was taken to keep the DFC and the refinance it. Since then the institution has been flourishing, offering the services which it was billed to offer. All through, as the Deputy Prime Minister points out: “not a peep of scandal.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 February 2018 13:30