As of 5 March 2019, Pompano Beach, Florida-based Stonegate Bank (now known as Centennial Bank) is discontinuing its MasterCard branded credit cards that were valid for use in the Republic of Cuba. According to a customer service representative, the Stonegate Bank Credit Card Program is being discontinued for both consumers and businesses. According to the text (first published and then provided by www.cubastandard.com) of a 5 February 2019 letter to customers, “Cuba enabled credit cards are no longer available.”
In September 2017, Stonegate Bank (2017 assets approximately US$2.9 billion) was purchased by Conway, Arkansas-based Home BancShares (2018 assets approximately US$14 billion) through its Centennial Bank subsidiary.
Neither Centennial Bank nor Home BancShares has issued a statement as to the reason(s) for the discontinuation of the credit cards for use in the Republic of Cuba.
Natbank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Bank of Canada that has operated in Florida for more than twenty years, confirms that its Mastercard credit card is valid for use in the Republic of Cuba. Natbank has locations in Boynton Beach, Hollywood and Pompano Beach. San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, like Natbank, has authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and from the Central Bank of the Republic of Cuba to have their Mastercard-branded credit cards and debit cards valid for use in the Republic of Cuba.
14 June 2016- Stonegate Bank Issues MasterCard For Use In Cuba
19 November 2015- Stonegate Bank and MasterCard Enable U.S.-Issued Debit Cards for Use in Cuba
Stonegate Bank and MasterCard Enable U.S.-Issued Debit Cards for Use in Cuba
Stonegate is pleased to announce that the bank is now offering a Debit MasterCard that can be used at any of Cuba’s 10,000 hotels, restaurants and other card-accepting merchants.
“This is the first step in relieving the burden of U.S. travelers carrying cash when travelling to Cuba and another step in normalizing commercial relations between the two countries. Hopefully more issuing banks will help this process by approving credit and debit cards as well,” said Dave Seleski, president and CEO of Stonegate Bank.
Initially, cardholders will need to sign for all Debit MasterCard purchases. Stonegate expects to expand the use of the cards to ATMs in 2016.
Before visiting Cuba, Stonegate cardholders will need to ensure they are traveling under one of the 12 categories authorized by U.S. regulations, including religious and professional purposes.
MasterCard originally removed its network block on U.S.-issued cards being used in Cuba in March 2015. Since then, federal rules left the final decision to each bank whether its cardholders will be allowed to use their cards on the island.
“As the infrastructure continues to develop on the island, this milestone reinforces a collective effort, starting with last spring’s trade mission, to deliver our cardholders a convenient and safe way to pay when traveling to Cuba,” said Jeff Wilson, president. GeoCentral Division at MasterCard.
For further information on obtaining a debit card, please visit www.stonegatebank.com.
Stonegate Bank (NASDAQ: SGBK) is a full-service commercial bank, providing a wide range of business and consumer financial products and services through its 21 banking offices in its target marketplace of South and West Florida, which is comprised primarily of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Sarasota Counties in Florida. As of September 30, 2015, Stonegate Bank had $2.31 billion in assets and $1.95 billion in deposits. Stonegate Bank’s principal executive office and mailing address is 400 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, Florida 33062 and its telephone number is (954) 315-5500.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities — such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances — easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
14 October 2016- Starwood Has A Problem With Mastercard, Cuba's Central Bank, Stonegate Bank & Banco Popular De Puerto Rico
5 May 2018- Home BancShares Reports On Its Risks Associated With Cuba-Related Banking Services
Direct Correspondent Banking has yet to be implemented by Home BancShares. In September 2017, Stonegate Bank was purchased by Home BancShares through its Centennial Bank subsidiary:
In 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury authorized Stonegate Bank to have an account with BICSA. Stonegate Bank provides commercial operating accounts for the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Washington, DC and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations in New York City; the financial institution also handles other types of OFAC-authorized transactions. Stonegate Bank has a correspondent account with Republic of Cuba government-operated Banco Internacional de Comercia SA (BICSA). However, because BICSA does not have a correspondent account with Stonegate Bank, the fully-operational direct correspondent relationship does not exist, and a multi-country triangular payment process continues- financial institutions in third countries have received fees on more than US$5.8 billion in transactions during the last eighteen years. The Obama Administration did not authorize BICSA under a general OFAC license or reportedly in the OFAC license issued to Stonegate Bank for it to have an account with Stonegate Bank, so Stonegate Bank has processed some transactions through Panama City, Panama-based Multibank, which has dealings with the Republic of Cuba.