Guyana Central Bank Says No To Sale Of Scotia Bank

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The Central Bank of Guyana (CBG) says it will not sanction the sale of the operations of Scotiabank here to the Trinidad-based Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL).

Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Gobin Ganga, has since communicated the CBG’s osition to the two banks, citing a number of concerns.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that the Guyana government had been made aware of the CBG’s position “and also the letter that was written to me, indicating that having done their examination and taking all the circumstances into consideration that they [CBG] could not approve the application.”

Jordan said that the matter had been brought to the attention of Cabinet on Tuesday, adding “Cabinet concurred with the Governor’s pronouncement and they agreed that the reasons given were important reasons and the critical one being concentration, the risks involved and so on, AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism] considerations, the lack of supervisory capacity by the bank itself; they are now building that capacity and so on.

“So when you take all of that into consideration, we did not feel that this application would be in Guyana’s best interest,” he added.

Ganga said that a complete evaluation of the takeover plan had been done and a decision was made not to grant approval to the proposed move. He said there were a number of factors that influenced the decision, including competition and concentration in the market.

Last November, the RFHL announced that it was seeking to acquire Scotiabank operations in Guyana, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The RFHL statement said that the purchase price is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries.

Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana had initially expressed reservations about the proposed acquisition, with St. John’s indicating that it would not be issuing a vesting order to facilitate the move.

The St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) earlier this month announced that it had approved the application for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to the RHFL.

 

But the ECCB, which serves as central bank for islands in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) said that regarding the future of Scotiabank’s operations in Antigua and Barbuda, the discussions are ongoing.

For its part, Guyana had raised concerns about the sale noting that with Republic Bank currently holding 35.4 per cent of the banking systems assets and 36.8 per cent of deposits here,  its acquisition of Scotiabank would push its stake in the local banking sector to 51 per cent of both assets and deposits.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Glad to see that not only our PM Gaston Browne have the foresight not to let the Republic Bank control their banking industry. I wonder what the so called banker Everett has to say. Did Guyana breach any CARICOM treaty? I the not to distance future our PM will be vindicated and those critics will have to eat their words. The PM is not fool. He knows what he is standing up for.

    • From the Sidelines:
      Unlike in Antigua.Guyana is saying no one Bank should be holding 51% of the country’s financial deposits.That would be a dangerous slippery slope to go down.So Antigua and Gaston Browne had better learn from Guyana.

  2. Sidelines: I thought you guys were all one Caribbean.Because I have heard you people referred to them as our Caribbean brothers and sisters.However,when it comes to Money and Banking.There is a huge distrust among our so called Caribbean brothers and sisters.

  3. From the Sidelines:
    Guyana’s concern and that of Gaston Browne are totally different.I believe you would need to re read the last paragraph of the story.As to the real reasons why Guyana is not sanctioning the sale of Scotia Bank at this time.The Guyanese are not looking for a Consortium of Banks to buy Scotia Bank in Guyana.Like Gaston Browne in my opinion mislead persons like you into believing.

  4. FTSL
    Guyana’s refusal to sell Scotia to RHFL is the same reason that ECCB refused to sell Royal Bank to R.A. Stanford back when they were first divesting in the 90s.
    They did not want that huge percent of the banking sector under one individual ownership. They turned out to be right.
    If you really worked for Stanford as you claimed you would know this and would not have written that bs.

  5. GB is absolutely correct. He will be vindicated for his bold and firm stands. This political tribalism by the nayseyers has no merit. Give the man so credit.

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