Prince Andrew used his royal connection to help controversial mogul
Prince Andrew has worked secretly behind the scenes to help a controversial multimillionaire open a bank for the super-rich in Monaco, The Mail on Sunday reveals.
Explosive emails leaked to this newspaper reveal how the Duke of York contacted the office of Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, on behalf of his financial friend David Rowland and asked for information on how to open a new bank in the principality.
The Duke, who at the time was the taxpayer-funded UK trade envoy, then offered to provide additional help to the Rowland family ahead of a scheduled reunion with Prince Albert.
The revelation comes after reports that Mr Rowland, a major donor to the Conservative Party, repaid a £ 1.5million loan in December 2017 granted to Andrew by Banque Havilland, a Luxembourg bank controlled by the Rowland family.
Prince Andrew has worked secretly behind the scenes to help controversial multimillionaire David Rowland open a bank for the super-rich in Monaco. Pictured: The Duke of York and Mr. Rowland at Royal Ascot in 2006
The MoS revealed two years ago how Prince Andrew quietly used his extraordinary royal connections to plug Havilland Bank during his decade as the UK’s trade envoy.
Bought out of the ashes of a bankrupt Icelandic financial institution, Bank Havilland offered discreet private banking services to billionaires around the world and was named after David Rowland’s home on the Channel Island. Andrew publicly opened his Luxembourg headquarters in September 2009.
Now, email leaks reveal that three months later, Prince Andrew was quietly helping his friend expand the fledgling bank into a tax haven and the playground of Monaco’s billionaires.
An email to the Duke from Heather Acheson, Prince Albert‘s main attache, suggests Andrew had contacted his royal colleague’s office and asked him about the process of opening a bank in the principality .
” In answer to your question Is it difficult to obtain a banking license [sic] in and for Monaco? Ms. Acheson wrote.
“The Monegasque authorities do not restrict the access of foreign banks to the territory; new banks are welcome provided they meet the “suitability and suitability” criteria.
Explosive emails leaked to this newspaper reveal how the Duke of York contacted the office of Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco (pictured), on behalf of his financial friend David Rowland and asked for information on how to open a new bank in the principality
She then responded to what appeared to be a second question from Andrew about the process “to follow” to open a bank by sending him a web link to a page on the website of the central bank of France that explained the licensing process. .
‘Please inform [me] if I can be of further assistance Your Highness, she added.
The next day, Prince Andrew forwarded Ms Acheson’s response to Jonathan Rowland, the son of David Rowland and then director of Bank Havilland.
“Here is Monaco’s first response,” he wrote. “I will be going down in March to see P Albert, so by then we can do more if necessary.”
The Court Circular, the official register of royal engagements, reveals that Prince Andrew did in fact visit Monaco on March 4, 2010, where he attended a dinner for the Outward Bound Trust hosted by the Prince of Monaco.
It is not known whether Prince Andrew provided additional assistance or, in fact, whether he raised the issue personally with Prince Albert.
However, in April 2012, Banque Havilland opened a subsidiary in Monaco after having purchased another private bank there called Dexia Private bank.
The Duke of York was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony, which was not an official royal visit and was not recorded in the court circular.
David Rowland is said to have organized a private jet to take Andrew to the elite rally.
At the time, Jonathan Rowland described Monaco as “the perfect place to grow and move our business forward”.
Prince Andrew has, however, been criticized by late Labor MP Paul Flynn for giving the bank his “seal of approval”.
The Luxembourg regulator fined Banque Havilland 4 million euros (£ 3.5 million) in 2018 for failing to put in place adequate safeguards to protect against money laundering – one of the biggest fines she has ever imposed.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Andrew authorized the repayment of a £ 1.5million loan from David Rowland in December 2017, despite rules telling Royals to avoid giveaways that ” would or could appear to place [them] under no obligation to the donor ”.
The revelation renewed calls for MPs to investigate the Duke of York’s finances.
Former government minister Norman Baker, who has written a damning book on royal finances, has asked HMRC to investigate Prince Andrew’s activities as well.
He said: “The more we find out about Andrew’s financial transactions, the more unpleasant it becomes. It is very clear that Prince Andrew, while officially working for the government, was also working as a private consultant to boost the Rowlands fortunes.
The Duke of York and Jonathan Rowland declined to comment. The Prince Albert office did not respond to a request for comment.