(CMR) The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, The Honourable Gaston Browne M.P. has written a stern letter to the General Manager of Scotiabank Antigua regarding it's attempt to sell to the bank – calling its actions to date “unacceptable”.
It was announced just yesterday that a sale was announced for the Scotibanks located in the Eastern Caribbean to Republic Financial Holdings. However, the response has been swift from the Prime Minister in firstly issue a press release and then writing directly to the bank manager regarding the sale.
This letter which CMR obtained directly from the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff states that:
I advise that I am deeply disappointed that the authorities of the Bank of Nova Scotia would decide to sell its operations in Antigua and Barbuda without any form of consultation with the regulators or the Finance Minister, whose agreement and authority for such a sale are required by law.
I am further deeply concerned that the Bank of Nova Scotia would spring such an important decision on the people of Antigua and Barbuda, particularly its many clients who have displayed great loyalty to the bank for almost 50 years, providing it with significant profits.
In contrast, the Cayman Islands who finds itself also looking at the sale of a Cayman bank has been supportive of the commercial transaction and has expressed no concerns whatsoever regarding the acquisition. In fact, since the announcement other local banks have expressed an interest in making the acquisition.
Other regional government entities have also expressed concerns about Republic based out of Trinidad making various acquisitions in the region. A local and North American conglomerate have joined forces to attempt to stop the sale of Cayman National Bank by making it's own bidding attempt. We understand the steps are underway to submit the formal offer to the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.