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RBC announces sale of Eastern Caribbean banking operations

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Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) today announced it has entered into definitive agreements to sell all banking operations in the Eastern Caribbean to a consortium of indigenous banks within the region.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to be finalised in the coming months.

“Consistent with our strategy of being a competitive leader in the markets where we operate, RBC is always evaluating opportunities for our business. Earlier this year, we were approached by a consortium of indigenous banks with their proposal to acquire all RBC Eastern Caribbean operations,” said Rob Johnston, Head, RBC Caribbean Banking. “After a review of our operations and strategy, we determined this opportunity was a good decision for the long-term future success of RBC Caribbean, and also, that it aligned with our vision to help our clients thrive and communities prosper,” he said.

The sale encompasses the branches of Royal Bank of Canada in Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, as well as regional businesses operating under RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited in Nevis, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Collectively, these operations are referred to as “RBC Eastern Caribbean”. The consortium of five financial entities purchasing includes 1st National Bank of St Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank Ltd, National Bank of Dominica Ltd, the Bank of Montserrat, and Bank of Nevis Ltd.

Johnathan Johannes, Managing Director, 1st National Bank of St Lucia, shared, “We formed the consortium for the express purpose of expanding the scale of the locally-owned financial entities in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. This transaction gives us the size and scale to play a more active role in the development of our respective countries. We see this transaction as the first step in achieving even greater synergies, efficiencies and cross-territory marketing opportunities.”

“RBC has operated in the Caribbean for more 100 years – longer than we have been in many parts of Canada. We remain committed to the future of the Caribbean and to a vision of digital innovation that transcends traditional services,” said Johnson. “This transaction will allow us to realign and focus our strategy on Caribbean markets where we can achieve that vision most successfully.”

“Self-determination is the highest level of empowerment – and the indigenous banks acquiring this business will now have an increased opportunity to influence the development of their communities,” said Johnston.

Johannes added, “And speaking on behalf of the local banks, we embrace and eagerly anticipate that opportunity.”

The consortium was advised by PwC (JA), led by Wilfred Baghaloo, who added, “this transaction demonstrates that Caribbean countries and businesses have the capacity and capability to come together when the circumstances are right.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RBC will release its first-quarter 2020 results and host an earnings conference call on 21 February 2020.

RBC

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Caribbean & World

Additional $100,000 fine if Akim Andrew is found guilty of prescribing medication 

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Andrew can possibly face hefty fines and prison term under Health Practitioners Act
  • Denied bail and remanded to Richmond Hill Prison until 28 January.
  • Public to request a medical practitioner’s credentials before undergoing treatment

19-year-old Akim Andrew will face a hefty fine of $100,000 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years for impersonating a doctor, and “Practicing Medicine without being Registered.”

If proven guilty of prescribing medication Andrew can possibly face an additional maximum fine of $100,000 and a prison term of 3 years in accordance with Section 113 of the Health Practitioners Act 2010.

Section 113 of the act states that “A person shall not prescribe any drug in relation to a medical condition or complaint unless he or she is registered as a health practitioner pursuant to the provisions of this act and is authorised by virtue of the regulations made pursuant to section 119. It goes on further to say that “A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or to both.”

Former Chairman of the Allied Health Professional Council, Derick Sylvester, called attention to these two penal sections when interviewed on the matter on Thursday, 24 January 2020. Sylvester said the incident is quite unfortunate but indicated that this is an opportunity for the public to be more vigilant and to request to see a medical practitioner’s credentials before undergoing treatment. “The law requires that every medical practitioner must have their certificate posted in a prominent place so that is something that every person should look for when they go to visit a doctor or any health professional, and this is what the law says in Section 45, which states that the holder of a practicing certificate shall display the practicing certificate in a prominent place in an area where he or she conducts his or her practice.”

Andrew was denied bail when he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Teddy St Louis, at the St George’s Magistrate’s No. 1 Court on Tuesday and was remanded to Richmond Hill Prison until 28 January.

The Allied Health Professionals Council is responsible for vetting applicants before issuing licences to practice in the state of Grenada. In 2018, a call was made by the council’s chairman Dr Nicole Forte, for all Allied Health Professionals in Grenada to become registered as required under the Health Practitioners Act 2010. It is also standard practice for the names of licenced medical professional to be listed in the Gazette.

Sylvester stated the law cannot prevent someone from impersonating a medical professional or to establish an office to offer medical services, however, it is up to the Allied Health Professionals Council to ensure that all health professionals are certified and registered to practice and that the public ensures that they are provided with proof of that certification.

“I wouldn’t say there are loopholes within the system because you cannot stop anyone from just opening an office and say I am a doctor. So there are some things that you cannot do, so you cannot stop someone from doing that but the prospective patient has a duty to ensure that the doctor you are going before, is he someone that someone referred you to, or is it a case where you just walk in and see a sign and you decide to walk into the office? Then if that is the case you should look and ensure that person is qualified and by examining the certificate of that person,” Sylvester said.

A number of health professionals fall under the category of Allied Health including: Acupuncturist, Audiologist, Chiropodist, Chiropractor, Dental Hygienist, Dental Technician, Dental Therapist, Dietitian, Emergency Medical Technician, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Herbalist, Homeopath, Imaging Technologist, Masseur, Medical Technologist, Naturopathist, Optician, Occupational Therapist, Podiatrist, Psychotherapist and Psychologist, among others.

Jerry Edwin, legal representative of Akim Andrew, stated that he is prepared to mount a vigorous defence on the behalf of his client whose ambition did not match his educational credentials. He indicated that the incident that led to his client’s arrest is violating the public trust by misleading innocent people at worst, and is no more egregious than other similar situations being perpetuated in Grenadian society where a public official was found to be holding a fake doctorate or a practitioner of naturopathic medicine having a televised programme without having the necessary qualifications.

Edwin refutes the claim that his client prescribed controlled substances or prescriptions, but admitted that his client’s situation is quite sad and one which requires him to be rehabilitated.

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Windrush scandal: 'A billion pounds can't buy back my happiness'

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Chiplyn Burton was denied entry back into the UK after a trip to Jamaica in the 1970s.



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Grenadian couple celebrates 60 years of marriage

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Phillip and Bernadette Johnson celebrate diamond wedding anniversary
  • Secret to successful marriage: Confidence in each other’s love

The sanctity of marriage has certainly lost some of its significance in today’s society but based on the advice of this adorable Grenadian couple, once tolerance, respect, and love for your partner can be maintained within a relationship, then a healthy long-lasting marriage can be assured.

Most certainly Phillip and Bernadette Johnson are well-positioned to give sound advice to young couples as they are celebrating their diamond anniversary, marking 60 years since they took their vows.

Reminiscing on the time she laid eyes on her future husband, Bernadette remembers falling in love at first sight, and after almost three years of dating, they both sealed their love with a kiss and said “I do” at the St Patrick RC Church in Sauteurs on 10 January 1960. At the time of her marriage, Bernadette, from Chantimelle, St Patrick was 22 years old, while Phillip who resided at Perdmontemps, St David was 24. Both decided to migrate to the United Kingdom, Phillip in April 1960 and Bernadette a year later.

“Sometimes it’s rough but you have to believe in yourself and believe in the person that you marry and that is my comment to young people of today,” Bernadette said.

60 years later their love has not changed. The Johnsons in their 80s celebrated their milestone by returning to Grenada and marked the occasion surrounded by family and friends. Daughter Sandra treated them to a day pass at True Blue Bay Resort where they started the day with breakfast. Many couples at the restaurant congratulated them and wished them many more fruitful years ahead.

Sandra said, “It makes me feel absolutely fantastic as a woman, I have got two amazing parents who have been role models for so many people and throughout my years growing up, they have been a mother and father to so many people. I am so proud to be here today to just be with my parents and celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. It is such a milestone because certain people don’t even live to see 60, but to have a union which is so strong for 60 years is an absolute blessing.”

Phillip Johnson was a well-known steelband player and has dedicated much of his life entertaining crowds in England with his band Paradise, a name given to the band after entertaining the Queen of England at a gala event. He admits that his popularity as a musician garner him much attention from other females, but this did not distract him from the fact that he loved his wife.

So, exactly what is their secret to maintaining a successful marriage for the past 60 years? Phillip offered free advice to younger couples. “[I] and my wife does have misunderstanding but we never let it carry over into the next day…If you see someone talking to your wife or husband, don’t be jealous. Have that confidence as long as you know that you love her and that she loves you, you all we carry on until the man we name God take each other away.”

Phillip hopes that he and Bernadette can both live to see 100 years, so they can continue to celebrate their love for as long as they both shall live.

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