The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has approved the sale of Scotiabank’s operations to Trinidad & Tobago’s Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Dominica and several other countries of the sub-region, minus Antigua and Barbuda.
The ECCB disclosed the information in a release last week, stating that it has, “in consultation with the ECCB Monetary Council, approved the application for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to the Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Dominica, Anguilla, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act.
The release added that “discussions on the future of Scotiabank’s operations in Antigua and Barbuda are ongoing.”
When the bank first made the announcement, they received a backlash from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
And now, he has said that the twin island is now in a better position than before.
“In the first instance, the only leverage that we had would have been not issuing the vesting order. Now we’re in a better position because, guess what? They neither have approval from the Central Bank nor would they get the vesting order. So our position is even stronger today than it was two days ago,” Browne, who is also the country’s Finance Minister, said.
The RFHL stated in a release that the ECCB has said that it believes that the corporate banking record of the Republic Group and its extensive network of correspondent banks will bode well for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) banking sector.
In November of 2018, the Republic Group announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire the BNS banking operations in various territories. The execution of the agreement signalled the commencement of a transaction that remains subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.
This approval is the most recent of those gained by RFHL since the announcement. Previous approvals include a letter of “No Objection” from the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten and approval from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).
Skerrit – Caricom support ‘overwhelming’ for Baroness Scotland
3 hours ago
February 20, 2020
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said heads of government of CARICOM have expressed their “overwhelming” support for the renewal of the term of office for Secretary General Baroness Scotland.
Scotland, a Dominican by birth is under pressure from the international community to resign from her position of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
But Skerrit who spoke on the sidelines of the Thirty-First Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, said the grouping is standing behind Scotland.
He said at the meeting, heads of governments also expressed their gratitude for her achievement during her tenure.
“Heads of governments expressed our gratitude for the range of activities undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat whose added value redounded to the benefit of small island and low lying coastal developing states,” he said.
According to Skerrit who has been one of Scotland’s main supporters, the heads of government also expressed support for the renewal of the term of office of the secretary general.
“We do hope that when we meet in Rwanda, the current holder of the post of secretary general will receive a second term in that very important office,” he said.
Skerrit said heads of CARICOM also engaged Scotland “directly and frankly” on the issues leveled against her in the media.
But he said CARICOM remained satisfied and accepted the responses given by her as “legitimate”.
The questions about Scotland’s future leadership of the Commonwealth came after she was criticized by internal auditors last November for awarding a lucrative consultancy contract to a company run by her friend.
The audit committee report also found that the Secretariat had no register of either tender waivers or conflicts of interest and was unable to explain why not.
That committee also identified 50 occasions between July 2015 and June 2018 when the usual procurement tenders had been waited by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Baroness Scotland has always denied any wrongdoing
Scotland’s four-year term of office as secretary general comes to an end next month.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be backing moves to persuade Amina Mohamed, a 58-year-old Kenyan politician, to challenge Baroness Scotland if she refuses to stand down.