Banks are only serving the rich in pandemic


When monetary stress enters the economy through any kind of upheaval, be it hurricane, pandemic or otherwise indigenous banks go very silent, lending all their money to the government and the reliable rich, and even though bursting at the seams, their penny customers starve.

There are no stimulus packages built for the entrepreneurs and the local people who have been paying interest all their lives, and even locals with worth in land or property are being forced out of business by the failure of the banks to observe empathy for their small local clients.

COVID protocols have now given the bank operatives shelter from the people in need so they don’t even have to see their customers, and bankers are now further hidden and the money protected for their expatriate business customers.

The hardest part is the failure to respond to requests, thereby leaving customers hanging in limbo for weeks while the business falls deeper into failure and the morale of the owners and their staff become too low to function, and the business goes under.

Initially the banks had to be nudged into granting a six month moratorium on loans during a pandemic which was expected to last one year and maybe more.

The second six month did little to ease the squeeze as the tourist based economy was still flat, but after that next six month ended, the apparent swim or sink attitude of the rapacious bankers has become the order of the day.

As the government continues to dip their hands heavily into the indigenous bank’s reserves, small business and individual loans are being pushed aside and ignored while their businesses sink into the mire.

In times like these entrepreneurs need a saviour, but the Government institutions are not built for the country’s internal usage in saving the local economy from crashing, but instead, all of their energies are spent in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, expanding the CIP and coddling the investment already in the country.

Where is the Small Business Investment Incentives program which is expected to bail out the local businesses, which together as a body, help government with a large part of the country’s economic development.

Today, as the country’s poor increase and the unemployed seek to find ways of eating, people are returning to the tray outside their homes and the roughly made side-of-the- road stalls at busy junctions all over the island, and not just in the town.

The Third World look has returned to Antigua, but the banks are reported to be bursting at the seams with money which the local population will never find access.

Normally the banks would be pressured by the Government to free up the local lending with assurances from our Treasury but Government has borrowed all of the money available leaving only that which the bank keeps for their expatriate business expansion schemes.

In circumstances like this where the population is left broke and constantly abused by all and sundry, hostilities build up and the suffering of the people spills out in ways which can damage lives and property and ultimately create dangerous spillovers into the business community.

Ultimately large losses will have to be written off to fires and other willful destruction of businesses and property as hunger unleashes passion.

Someone always pays the cost, either in measures to maintain economic stability with cooperation from the banks backed by government security, or in repairs, rehabilitation and rebuilding after hunger and passion unleashes rage!

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  1. Dear Arthur,
    With all your millions how many failing black small business have you given CPR?

    When you are in the position to help and you point your fingers at another and say they are the ones that should help, how would you categorize that person?

    When your idea of help is pointing our what every John Doe knows, how will that help?

    Put your money where your mouth is, stop speaking down to people, and treating people like dogs. Unfortunately your reputation follows you as much as your shadow. The trauma you have caused people working for you is wedged in history

  2. Many of you would hate this lady. You would call her types of names. Read her utterances more than once. Perhaps you would then comprehend what she is saying. There are many truths in what she is saying. So if she is well off financially. Good for her and all others who are financially buoyant. Perhaps if this lady was of Chinese and or Caucasian extraction. You people would be kissing her toes. Because she is Antiguan and Barbudan and BLACK. You people would ridicule her and destroy her character. That is very typical among our own Black People,inna Antigua. Where bad mindedness and begrudge(envy) are the orders of the days. We need to change that. We could all be in disagreement in a more constructive way.Now I with a broad back await your negativity.LMAO.

  3. This woman is clearly out of her depths with her reasoning. Which bank in Antigua has the government borrowed all the money. Banks in Antigua are awash with liquidity so it would be interesting if she can name atleast one bank. Look the intellectual capacity of this woman is laughable….she really needs to stay in her lane.

  4. Thank you Warf Rat, let’s get the debate going at all cost, reality is, Antigua people feeling it and there is no broad based plan in which the banks feature giving a leg up to customers except the moratorium, which has run out. When government borrows the bank needs to build a partnership with government to help small businesses.

  5. “As the government continues to dip their hands heavily into the indigenous bank’s reserves, small business and individual loans are being pushed aside and ignored while their businesses sink into the mire.”

    The only loan involving government and a local bank are the ACB loan. One was a consolidation of exiting loans, the other was money for APUA to improve it broadband and water infrasture. The writer parrots Pringle in making the claim above. What the bank stated is that government as an entity had reached its credit limit. The bank based mostly on risk tries to ensure it limits its risk exposure by placing limits on how much individuals can borrow. ACB has adds in local papers offering persons loans for mortgages, scholarships, home renovations etc. They also just purchased a non local banks holdings in A&B and Grenada. Loans and advances for 2020 stood at 659,165,380(14 mii less than 2019). Most of the loans are business loans. Contrary to the writers utterances, the bank points out, in its most recent annual report that it was challenged in 2020 to find persons worthy of credit hence there was a decline in loans given in 2020. Without the APUA loan, 2020 for the bank would have seen a bigger loan decline.

  6. Total garbage that would normally come from Pringle. I guess Mekeda has chosen to bat for the UPP. Which is not surprising. As a learned woman she knows ALL the banks in the ECC union are regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. And coming out of the ABIBANK debacle new policies were put into law, giving the Governor of the bank more powers to avoid what happened to ABIBANK. Which is the exposure that banks have lending to governments.
    The way she is going she will soon be closing business. As the clients read the nonsense she is writing.
    BTW I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends for the passing of my dear friend Glanville, her ex-husband. May his soul rest in eternal piece. It’s getting lonely year by year.

    • From the Sidelines: Why do you always mentioned Glanville. What has this lady done to you? You are so personal with her. Did she refuse your advances?

  7. From the Sideline thanks re condolences – he was a good man!
    If you talk to small business owners they will tell you a different story to the banks. I consider myself a small business owner operating in a big league property where the Government is seriously preventing me from earning while promoting a ‘no competition’ atmosphere against my operation, so it will not be my clients, it will be my government and the banks that could soon close me down too,

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