31 May 2009

Banks ordered to repatriate offshore assets

8:53 am on 31 May 2009

Private banks in Ecuador have been ordered to repatriate $US1.2 billion in overseas deposits and investments to help jump-start the economy.

President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the board of the central bank has imposed a domestic liquidity requirement to force banks to keep at least 45% of their assets and investments inside the country.

The former economy minister said financial institutions are holding nearly $US4 billion in assets abroad that should be invested in Ecuador.

Ecuador last year defaulted on its foreign debt.

The government agreed earlier this year to keep about $US1 billion in public-sector deposits in the financial system. However, bankers say it has not done so.