SCOTIABANK BAILS ANTIGUA P.M. PUSHES BACK

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Scotiabank announced last week to the surprise of regional governments that they are divesting themselves of their businesses in the Eastern Caribbean including Guyana.  There was no prior consultation and Republic Bank of Trinidad is to take over the banks.  All the regulators were shocked and expressed dismay.  This is particularly so where the correspondent banking relationship issues with other countries is making it difficult to do business with Caribbean Banks.   Nevertheless, it is difficult to see how the regulators are going to refuse a company the right to sell its property if it wants to do so.   Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda struck back and said that he expected a formal application and that he did not believe that such divestment was in the best interest of his country.  We support him, and we know it’s only a matter of time before the hammer strikes here in The Bahamas.  The Bank for its part essentially said these markets have become too small for them to be bothered with all the due diligence it takes to run them, and they have bigger markets in which they need to concentrate with more profit potential. Read through all the gobbledygook and that’s what it boils down to.