William Wallace's lawyers issue ultimatum to First Citizens Bank over queries on TTFA accounts

By April 23, 2020

First Citizens Bank in Trinidad and Tobago has until Monday, April 27, to say whether anyone has attempted to gain control of the accounts of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA). Should they fail to do so they will be brought before the High Courts of the twin-island republic.

The bank received this ultimatum in correspondence from attorneys representing the ousted members of the TTFA executive who are locked in a dispute over the legality of FIFA, the world governing body, appointing a normalisation committee to oversee the daily operations of the heavily indebted association.

FIFA appointed the normalisation committee in late March and William Wallace, who was duly elected president of the TTFA in November 2019, received word that efforts were made to take control of the association’s accounts on which he is a signatory.

In a letter dated, April 17, that was sent to First Citizens Bank in Port of Spain, Matthew Gayle of New City Chambers said in part:

“Since the elections held in November 2019, following which Mr William Wallace was duly elected President of the TTFA and subsequent thereto added as a signatory to the accounts, there has been no further change...

“Any attempts to change the signatories on the account which may have already been made in March or April 2020 or attempts which may be made hereafter without the express approval of Mr William Wallace and/or the duly elected executives is unauthorized.”

The letter continued: “My client would like to believe that in the modern banking context which is set against a backdrop of robust due diligence, no mere letter from a body with no legal standing in Trinidad and Tobago, could usurp the due authority of the TTFA Board of Directors and/or induce the bank to breach its contract with the TTFA.

“Should it come to light that the bank has provided any confidential information to, or acted to make any changes in respect to the TTFA accounts…my clients shall without delay approach the High Court or urgent assistance in preventing or stopping any breach or unlawful interference.”

In response, lawyers representing the bank responded saying it would require 28 days to respond since they would have to receive instructions from First Citizens Bank.

They also accused Gayle et al of sullying their reputation and threatened to take that matter to the High Court.

“Be advised that our client has strict policies and procedures in place which must be adhered to and require that all the requisite due diligence must be completed before the Bank can act on any request to transfer or change signatories on any account.

“We are instructed to demand that your client properly verifies information pertaining to our client before causing same to be placed in the public domain. Should your client cause any false allegations to be published our client will have no other recourse but to seek injunctive and such other relief in the High Court of Trinidad &Tobago for any reputational damage it may suffer.”

In a letter dated, Thursday, April 24, Gayle responded to the bank’s attorneys with a letter, which read in part.

“Your request for 28 days to answer a query of this nature, may have the effect of further undermining your client’s image and/or reputation as a competent and prudent financial institution.

“It seeks to trivialise my client’s concerns and fails to address with sufficient alacrity what would be, and if allowed to occur, a serious breach of your client’s duties and obligations.

“One would expect a competent and prudent financial institution to provide an instantaneous assurance that no such attempts would be entertained, not a request for 28 days which will do little to address my client’s concern, and may only be interpreted as an attempt to delay and obfuscate.”



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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