Browne Says Customers Shouldn’t Repay Loans If Scotiabank Closes

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he will ask Scotiabank customers not to repay their loans if the bank ends it operations in Antigua & Barbuda.

The government said last week that the Canadian bank has threatened to close down over government’s reaction to its decision to sell to Republic Financial Holdings in Trinidad and Tobago.

Browne told his radio programme over the weekend that there will be consequences for Scotia if they close.

“Now if Scotiabank closes their branch here, they have to pay back all the depositors US$500 million, then about US$ 300 million that they have in loans. It may take them 20 years to collect those loans and I can tell you if they make that kind of decision, I will tell all Antiguans and Barbudans, who have mortgages and car loans, not to pay them.”

Browne who is also finance minister told radio listeners that if Scotiabank takes debtors to court over non-payment they will also lose money.

“Let them go to court, you know what will happen…they will lose a few 100 million dollars and that jackass who wrote to me; he will lose his work because it will reduce Scotiabank’s bank value

“They will be better off walking away and giving up the bank for one dollar than to lock it down,” he said.

Republic Holdings has said that it wont sell any of the shares in Scotiabank to Antigua and has indicated to Scotiabank that it is no longer interested in purchase of the Antigua branch.

Browne said he is confident that Scotiabank will sell to a local bank but says the bank’s attitude towards the sale is partially racial.

“As I said to you, they are contemptuous of us and that is where I draw the line.”

“It is partly racial, they think a little black boy down here in Antigua and Barbuda telling look, you must sell to local banks and they vex. Even considering the Republic Bank has said to them they are no longer interested; they writing to me to tell me that they still selling to republic bank when the law gives me as the finance minister the right to approve the sale” he said.

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64 COMMENTS

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “Imperialism is a system of exploitation that occurs not only in the brutal form of those who come with guns to conquer territory. Imperialism often occurs in more subtle forms, a loan, food aid, blackmail . We are fighting this system that allows a handful of men on earth to rule all of humanity.” – Capitaine Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, President Burkina Faso, Assassinated 1987!

      The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Strategic Plan: Goal 2 Ensure a strong, diversified and resilient financial sector; OBJECTIVE: 5. Support the amalgamation of indigenous banks; INDICATOR: • ECCU indigenous banks capitalised adequately and leveraging the advantages of scale and scope through consolidation!

      “Well, the sun gets weary And the sun goes down Ever since the watermelon And the lights come up On the black pit town Somebody says what’s a better thing to do Well, it’s not just me And it’s not just you This is all around the world!” – Paul Simon: All Around the World!

      ECCB – CONSULTATIVE PAPER ON THE CONSOLIDATION OF NATIONAL BANKS IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN CURRENCY UNION – June 2018! One year ago! Who’s Paying Attention!

      Box 1: INTENT AND PRINCIPLES OF BANK CONSOLIDATION – The key objectives of promoting consolidation of the ECCU national banks are financial stability, and growth and development.
      Principles of Bank Consolidation:
      Principle No.1 – A strong national banking presence is critical to the development of the ECCU.
      Principle No. 2 – A strong banking system in the ECCU requires strong (well-capitalised and viable)
      national banks.
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      and should be avoided or minimised through effective regulation and consolidation.
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      In 1961, 10 years after gaining Adult Suffrage, a Caribbean man of letters from Martinique warned, “The national bourgeoisie does not invest and cannot achieve that accumulation of capital needed for the formulation and expansion of an authentic bourgeoisie. At this rate it would take centuries for it to set up the rudiments of industrialization. In any case it would come up against the implacable opposition of the former metropolis, which will have take every possible precaution in the framework of neocolonialist agreements.” Frantz Fanon: The Wretched of the Earth!

      What are the arguments for BNS not sell its Assets to Antigua and Barbuda Banking Enterprises given that the Trinidad and Tobago and Ghanaian enterprise has withdrawn! Who’s Zooming Who! This smacks of King Leopold in the Belgian Congo or the French who decided to uproot every infrastructure when granting Independence to Guinea! “Slowly fear spread through the African Elite, and none after the Guinea events ever found the courage to follow the example of Sékou Touré, whose slogan was “We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.”

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  1. This is actually a pretty good idea by PM Browne. I find it super weird that Scotiabank refuses to sell the branch in Antigua to our local banks or to the government.

    PM is right, Antiguans shouldn’t pay the loans back and the government can create a law to invalidate these loans that were made if the bank closes the branch.

    Now let’s see if the bank wants to close down the branch now, LOL!

  2. I find Browne’s statement to be condescending regarding the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Is the PM fuh real in thinking he can ask people to not pay a LEGAL OBLIGATION! Is this man for real….

    • Would you rather them walk away with all of the investments Antiguan/ Caricom citizens would’ve invested into the threshold… The bank advising that they would close operations is another way of voiding contractual agreements. If they’re to sell to another entity the new owner has a right to redefine the terms and conditions of those contracts i.e. higher rates or shorter terms etc.. In all effort of fairness, what The PM has said is true and makes a lot of sense. There is no consideration for the patrons only what suits their higher ups best interest and clearly a retaliation to an ego that bruised theirs…

      Go GASTON continue to fight on our behalf
      Its high time Antigua stop being foot stool to the rest of the Caribbean and place itself in the forefront cause we more than have the potential and talent to be there.

    • Are u put politics in everything, they breached by want to sell who they want, do he right arwe nar pay none if he say arwe nar pay nun , the world boss has spoken.
      You just go and pay for you own who cares?

  3. What nonsense! The PM/government is looking to get sued by Scotia for unlawful interference with a contract/loan. Those loans are lawful demand loans. Scotia can lawfully call them at any time and it will be lawful. For the PM to tell people not to honour their loan commitments shows the arrogance of the man. When the bank calls the loan, the borrower does not pay it back as the PM tells them to do, and the bank auctions their homes, will Gaston bail them out? As for racism, the PM is now raising that issue simply because it meets his needs. There has been absolutely nothing racist said or done by Scotia in this entire affair.

    • FYI I didn’t see Butch Stewart or Digicel sue Gaston nor the government when he stood up to them and demanded what was right for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. You might not like the PM but he has more [email protected]//$ than all his haters put together.

      • You are right. Butch Stewart did not sue Gaston. He just pulled his planned Beaches Resort for Halcyon Hotel and walked away from any further development in Antigua saying that as long as Gaston is PM, he would not invest any further in Antigua. Good move Gaston. Antiguan workers appreciate that.

        • Yes and even Tobago and Barbados had to turn down his investment as he was asking too much from them. He seems to be operating like a vulture. We do not want investors like that. Lets move on. Sunwings will do a much better job.

  4. Gaston is a prick. What kind of leader would say such nonsensical a thing? Do not pay your loans with the bank? Garbage advice.

    • Gaston is the People’s Leader, a bight and brilliant man, who looks after the interests of Antigua and Barbuda. It IS a racial thing. Scotie needs be mannersed, big time. These people do NOT have the best interests of Antigua people. They should be ashamed of themseves. IF they shut the place down, the loans and mortgages are automaticaly cancelled, null and void. The PM is right. He speaks for the real Common People. God bless Prime Minister Gaston Browne. This is a matter of patriotism, in the best interests of the Nation. ABLP, UPP, Movement etc. seem to all be agreed, and of one accord. Antigua One!

      • If Scotia shuts down, the loans are NOT automatically cancelled. Scotia has the right to call for payment in full of all loans immediately. It is called a Demand Loan. Banks all do this to make sure they can call their loans at any time. Scotia will call all loans and if they are not paid by borrowers refinancing with another bank, then the borrower is in default and Scotia can enforce its security and sell their houses/cars, etc to get back their money.

        • Great and that process will cost them millions in collection cost. Lawyers fees etc. That is why the PM said they would be better of to walk away and give the bank away for $1.00
          Because just like they can call the loans, they have to pay all the depositors promptly, with no delay. How you think the government was able to close down ABIB without anyone losing their money? Some had to make a deal to leave some monies behind and get a special interest for that.

    • Well they close their doors,so who the hell are we supposed to pay to? If they show such contempt to our nation,after been here for decades,they deserve nothing less than push back.. Just who the hell do you people think these foreign oppressors are. God? You people just need to SHUT UP,you sound like blinking slaves.

  5. Why wouldn’t Scotia sell the loans to another institution? At the end of the day the loans are an asset like any other.
    This is advice from the Top Dog Banker in chief? No wonder things are such a mess.

  6. Crass behaviour should not be coming from any leader. Canadians visit the Caribbean islands in droves thereby putting millions into the treasuries and now they are being called “racists” by one leader. (Maybe the PM should go incognito to China to learn about real racism against black people.)
    Scotiabank, a highly successful bank (unlike CUB? overseas transactions…ability?), would not be functioning by being “contemptuous” for racial reasons. North America does not need a pin head sized corrupt and bankrupted island that means absolutely nothing on a global scale…we need them to survive. No leader should ever encourage the people not to pay their loans. Not paying and/or ‘burying loans’ are criminal acts that would only serve to blacklist Antigua far worse than it is already.

    • If some of you that commented here were in the PM shoes you would have allowed foreign entities to come into the country and do as they please and treat you like dirt because you see yourselves as grasshoppers in their eyes. You cannot in no uncertain terms see yourselves above being beggars and sponges to the foreign elitists because that’s just what you are. ‘They don’t need us, we need them’? Hogwash, they need us as much as we need them. That’s why they are here. As a matter of fact I believe they need us more than we need them because they make bigger profits from us than they would make up north. While the PM might have gone out on a limb to say he would advise Antiguans and Barbudans not to pay them if they closes the operations here (and I don’t think he did) he is standing up for the people and the country. These people have been taking advantage of the smalller countries for way too long because we never had leaders with backbone to stand up to them. Now we have a leader who is willing and ready and you people want to label him as arrogant and crass? Well well!
      I say Mr. PM, stick it to them. No retreat, no surrender.

      • Without any doubt I would say that the worst “foreign elitist”, aided and abetted by the PM, to ever come to Antigua is YIDA ZHANG. It is now written up on-line that… “Finally, Antigua’s proposed China Colony, the Yida International project, which will result in an autonomous Chinese-owned enclave, apparently outside local control, which will significantly rise Antigua’s status for Country Risk, as well as alienate the United States, has been listed as a major factor in the Scotiabank decision to leave Antigua.” Yida certainly thinks of himself as an elitist and trust me the other “grasshoppers” and myself would never ever have given the green light for the scummy likes of this man to ever ruin the environment, marine life and reputation of Antigua with a hideous cheap pre-fab building site. Antigua will never make a dime from Yida and we, the people will have to suffer from the consequences of having a destructive Chinese colony established with their own country within our country. I would say that the Turkish Global Ports company is another “elitist” group that has been given our port areas on a golden platter for 40 years (no grasshoppers in that one either). IMO Scotiabank, Yida and Global Ports all have ulterior motives that have absolutely nothing to do with benefitting the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

      • You are so right. That is why I said thank God Lovell is not our PM or our country would be sold ten time over. To Butch and others.

    • It was not a general statement to all Canadians and you very well know that. It was specific to the CEO of the bank

  7. Of all the crap the PM has said regarding the Scotia bank issue this one really takes the cake. I wonder if these things are uttered tongue in cheek….by the way my property tax due next month…in Gaston’s mood me nar pay nutten!

  8. Oh yea of little faith! It astounds me that as progressive as Antiguans are, their thinking remains very small. The PM is taking a stand for the people and the country. Basically he is stating that if people hold back on their mortgage and car loans the banks loss will increase, so their loan loss to cash value will make the bank insolvent. The PM is not telling people to spend the money but hold it in escrow. The loss insurance will pay off the bad debt when the case is decided in about 10 to 15 years, and the debt will be reduced to cents on the dollar. To make an impact you have to take a stand. Maybe @Brown Maduro;@commom man; not so common man should take a course in business finance to know how the money game works.

    • Yes smarty…and in the meantime scotia will just sit back and allow the asset to remain in your possession while you default…maybe that’s how the PM envision his bank will run. You see why no one wants government in banking more so this government with the nonsense you spouting.

      • Have you not notice that Scotia has been preparing for this day for years. They have not been giving mortgages for sometime now. You think the market in Antigua for real estate is a buyers market. You see people line up to buy property when there is an auction. No some houses just sit and deteriorate. That is why you see some properties abandoned for years. Lets take Scotia’s own Manager’s house in Hodges Bay. Dilapidated. And there are many more bad loans on the books

  9. By now, everyone knows that I support a local takeover of BNS. Control of 🇦🇬’s money not going to 🇹🇹 again. We still hurting from the $300+ million of savings that cannot be accounted for. British American/Clico or whatever may not have been a bank, but the central consideration is 🇹🇹 managing our $$$.
    Antigua’s banks need SIZE to be seen. This is an excellent opportunity for the local entities to grow.
    Lastly, the greedy and unscrupulous demands of the 🇹🇹 group confirms and displays their contempt and indifference to 🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬.
    They cannot close any bank around here unless they are prepared to underwrite $500k to show who has more $$$$.

  10. It amazes me how some people can wish so much bad (or big up the foreign entities) against A&B. It shows some ignorance of some bloggers path. You may not like the party or the leader, however when it comes to the interest of A&B, he shows more gumption than the last two PM. Some bloggers don’t even know that the ASSETS the bank is sells is the same ones the PM is referring to. They cannot sell the depositors money. Why wouldn’t it be better to sell those ASSETS to our local banks so the monies can stay in our little bit of paradise and create more opportunities for US?

    • Why are you mistaking nonsense for gumption? He knows that ultimately you and you childrens tax money will pay for any mistake he makes. Get ready t
      o pay up!

      • Yeah like the mistake the UPP made with ABIB. Our tax money is paying for that and we have not clue nor don’t we have sleepless nights. We don’t even seem to care. We lost $300million to TT and we act as if nothing was wrong. Well this PM does care and he wants to ensure the local banks step up to the plate and take over the foreign banks and do not let any other foreign bank just walk in and take over our business.

  11. For a so call educated prime minister.
    (1) Will he be paying for the defendant legal fees

    (2) He speaks about little black boy, he is the one to talk, after selling out Antigua & Barbuda to those same people, and it is sure not in the interest of the inhabitants of Antigua & Barbuda, but for himself, and his cronies.

  12. I am in the corner of Scotia Bank please pack up and leave go go go now…..

    It’s time Antigua people benefit from something man.

    Can’t wait for the official announcement from the Prime Minister not to pay another red cent to Scotia collectors.

    Cart wheels people cart wheels. The PM is the real tap dag.

    Popcorn and a local drink anyone?

  13. The majority of the commenters have a very small and defeated mindset. These foreign banks make lots of money in the Caribbean and do very little in return. Therefore as @Julian Lewis stated, ” they need us much more than we need them.” As a former banker the PM is being a strategic negotiator. The question to ask is where should we deposit our payments in the escrow account? No court will default on you if you show the funds are deposited monthly into an account until a ruling is made.

    He is stating a position to benefit his constituents. If you don’t understand, just Google basic banking negotiations and court rulings under banking default. Reading is fundamental!

    • Ikr they do not read to understand just to respond some lame comments under here bet some of them only read the topic and then commented lol

  14. Antigua & Barbuda is well know to be one of the most corrupt countries in the Carribean. The government has already tarnished the reputation of good honest people of Antiguan and Barbuda. A bank is a publicly held company is is accountable to the share holders. If Scotia was making big money, they’d be going nowhere. Clearly there is more than meets the eye here. 2 sides to every story, I be interested in hearing Scotia Banks side.

  15. Is it about race or about strategic sale or about the highest buyer or about partnership?

    I would like to know what are the benefits in selling to a local bank? This is an honest and neutral question?

    Is it that depositors’ money are more secure if the bank is sold to a local institution?

    The profits being made will be spent locally in Antigua and Barbuda?

    Tell me some benefits of this fight?

  16. Do not pay their loans?This is one of the most foolish crap I have ever heard.So people please listen to Gaston and do not pay.Then see what happens.Because your houses would be in foreclosure.Put on the auction block for persons like me to come and buy.So heed the warning by Mr.Knows It All do not pay your mortgage.

  17. When ABI Bank close my loan wasn’t cancelled, I still had to pay. Even when I stalled to pay a bailiff was on my doorstep. PM is ridiculous and is advising ignorance!

    • @kelvin Thats cause they sold out to ecab bank totally different from what Scotia is planning to do read the article again and read to understand not to respond

    • And that is because ABIB was properly close down and the depositors monies were saved at a price of $300 million. But that doesn’t trouble anyone. It is the government that has to come up with our tax dollars.

  18. never liked that bank anyways always use to take money off my account and could never get a proper reason as to why so i closed my account years ago. But hey u antiguans really conform to foreign bs i guess yall didnt learn from standford and the two insurance companies that shut down and took away yall monies. Bullwin Spencer didnt do ish… And pple are still suffering y’all better stop this crap talk

  19. @Hahaha:
    To all of you who owned Mortgages at Scotia Bank.In the event they were to close that Branch.Do not pay your Mortgages.Then see what would happen.Your homes would go into delinquency.Then into foreclosures and you would end up living on the streets.So I am hoping they close that Branch.And you people listened to Gaston Browne and not pay your mortgages and see what happens. I am standing by to purchase some of those homes at Auction just in case.So do not pay.

    • Food for thought morgage payments are made via salary deduction so as a person is paid by their employer the money comes off automatically before the person even sees their pay

    • You think this is the USA. Sorry it doesn’t happen so easily here. They will have to take you to court and that is what the PM said that will break them. Because the only ones that will win are the lawyers. Scotia Bank will lose so much money and get such a bad reputation in the world that it would not be worth it for them. And as the PM said it would be better for them to walkaway and give the bank away for $1.00

    • Even if that’s the case you can always buy it back at a lesser value, auction are quick sales and not designed to make money but to get out of a situation. This is what the is hinting to, the lost would be so great that they would better off selling the branch and collecting their money upfront. These are reasons why you don’t sell beach front and lands to foreign investors but lease instead so when you leave the land go back to the people

  20. Lots of discussion about not paying back loans. Ok, but who is responsible for the people’s deposits? How are the depositors going to get their savings back?

  21. This man is very fresh, forward, and out of place as the tin-pot leader of a tin-pot country who thinks he can control the activities of a international free-market bank owned by thousands of investors around the world.

    Playing the race card with a colour-blind organization concerned with only one issue — making money for its investors, many of them black people living in Canada, the home of the bank — is very insulting to the people of Antigua-Barbuda, a country still reeling from the damage done to the country and its reputation when a dishonest bank and other ventures owned by a big-time white swindler, Allen Stanford, virtually controlled the government of that country.

    Let Gaston Browne blow all the hot air he wants to impress his ignorant supporters because at the end of the day the BNS will do whatever it pleases — including closing the bank while retaining all the deposits and debts of it’s customers and fighting all this in the local Antiguan courts.

    Browne has no legal or moral right to stop the BNS from leaving Antigua whether by selling to another bank, local or otherwise, or simply closing shop.

    Again, this man doesn’t know his damn place!

  22. I notice that most persons cannot see the forest for the trees. A lot of persons are binary in their thinking and can’t see the bigger picture. I read an article that Scotia Bank is Canada’s second biggest International Bank after RBC. It was in 54 countries and has pulled out of 21. It said Latin America alone accounts for 62% of its revenue. Now you think if Antigua continue to play hard ball you think the Canadian Government is just going to sit Idly by? All they have to do is put a black list on the Country and the tourist stop coming plus all they have to do is call their neighbour (USA) and they put a black list on us and tourist stop coming. Antigua is a dot with no power whatsoever. We can’t even get the WTO money back you all really think we can go up against an International Bank and possibly the Canadian Government if they get involved? Its clear to see that urine is falling and yet some actually believe it to be rain.

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