PM Browne says Chairman of ECAB should be held accountable for poor service at the bank and resign

Craig J. Walter Chairman Board of Directors

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said:

What are the directors doing about this persistent crappy service at ECAB ?

Perhaps the urgently needed change should start at the top. Mr Craig Walter, Chairman of ECAB who has remained silent throughout this frustrating experience should be held accountable.

The time has come for the shareholders of ECAB to have an extraordinary meeting to demand his resignation. Alternatively, he should do the honorable thing and resign.

If the Chairman and others are not held accountable, with consequences for their persistent incompetence, they will continue to treat our people with contempt, offering them inferior banking services.

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  1. PM clown , who should be held accountable for people in Antigua can’t get water for basic household needs because o the poor service of your government? U fu* king idiot always dipping in what don’t concern u , crazy mother f**ker , why don’t you go and take your crazy pills ?

  2. Yes he needs to RESIGN. Who is the General Manager??
    ECAB is like inter-Caribbean airways

    Horrible service
    Difficult to get anything done

  3. I’m just here for the comments just know this one going to be lit with all the GB ass kissers and GB haters 🍿🍿🍿

  4. Gaston Browne, just as I was watching ABS television tonight and I saw the above story on the news, guess what? Electricity came off. Shouldn’t I hold you accountable for the sad state of affairs in this country? You are always making your self a SUPER ASS. Anyway stop worry about ECAB and worry about where the white BMW was while you were overseas. Me nar tell you. Ha ha ha ha ha “

  5. PM has his gun on the Chair, but service is the responsibility of Management.
    Also ACB is just as bad, but because they accommodate the PM and his people they are not attacked by him.
    Clearly the indigenous banks bit off more than can chew and their customer service is comatose. There was no carry forward in courtesies from the Canadian banks; just trickle down Black contempt.

  6. Here the hood UPP folks who like Tanny Rose will see wrong and call it right because Craig is a Walter. ECAB service is deplorable. It’s not like we are begging the bank to give us their money, we are asking for OUR money & the hassle to simply do so is overwhelming.
    Leave it to Antiguans to be treated like crap and accept it because the Bank President is George Walters grandson.
    Come on, we deserve so much better. There is no mass exodus from the bank because people can’t get their money to leave.
    Thank you Mr PM for standing up for us. You always lead the charge.

  7. Gaston’s vendetta against Walter has nothing to do with customer service at the bank. It only has to do with Walter and the board of directors refusing to convert the government’s preferred shares to common voting shares. Gaston wants to take control of the bank with a majority of common shares and Walter and the board will not have it. Good for them. This customer service thing is just another excuse for Gaston to attack Walter and try to get rid of him so he can get more common shares in the bank. Walter, continue to stand your ground against that mongrel. You are doing the right thing.

  8. Has anyone else noticed that Gassssston 🥸 used the words “Held accountable”, towards Mr Craig J. Walters and not the word “resign”?

    He knows that if he did, autochthonous Antiguans would demand the same, that he resigns as well …

    Gassy think he clever on WORD-SALAD, but he up against the master of the WORDPLAY, the one, the only Brixtonian.

    🎶”Wheel, 🎧 rewind, 🎤 and come again …”🎶

  9. Gaston Browne,why your backsides do not resign.You have done nothing for the people of Antigua and Barbuda.You have become a burden on the backs of the people.Get your arse out of here.The reason you want that person to go.He stood up to you as a man ought to.You wanted certain things from the Bank and he rejected it on the spot.That pissed you off that someone said no to you.Now you are crying like a baby,DAWG.

    • I’m totally in agreement with you @ Black Man, this current Prime Minister will not accept any responsibility for the problems he has caused to the economy, the citizens and the country – he stubborn so till.

      He’s hanging on to office like a bad odour that lingers, sadly for the rest of us tax-paying citizens, Gassy’s odour has been around for two NASTY terms with more to come. Mercy! 😖

  10. Listen to the message, don’t shoot the messenger. But then again. It’s political time. Even if he is fighting for the worthy cause for the citizen at large. It doesn’t matter.
    But there is a saying, when the Top Slack the Middle and Bottom will drop off.
    I always say, when Stanford was in charge of that bank, customer service was top. Staff received quarterly bonuses and were among the highest paid in the industry. These days if you go into the bank, which means if you are that lucky, you do not even see a manager. You do not even know who is in charge of the bank. The CEO of GM is hiding in his nice Air condition Office far away from the customers’ eyes. And he/she is being paid very well. And guess what, the bank’s profits have increased over the years. Making good dividends for their shareholders. So why should they change their ways? Perhaps politicians need to see if they can do something through new banking legislation. What is acceptable customer service? I mean can one go to the consumer affairs department and lodge a complaint about the poor banking customer service? And what can be done about it? Are there penalties that one can give the bank. The public has been disrespected and they seem to be powerless.

  11. ECAB is a very interesting entity.

    Based on its ownership structure ECAB should probably be the best managed of the fourteen (14) remaining OECS indigenous banks . However this seems not to be the case for some reason .
    ECAB shareholders are 5 OECS indigenous Banks or Banking groups plus the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. With these 5 well established banking entities involved one would have thought that expertise and training from them would have been channeled into ECAB to have a smoothly running entity with customer service and online banking infrastructure functioning at the highest level.
    Alas for some reason this is currently seems not to be the so .

    The current Director structure makes me grin.
    It would appear that someone may have had foresight as to the possible avaricious nature of Antigua and Barbuda politicians in leadership positions .
    To this end ACB is the only shareholder currently represented by two Directors on the board with one currently being the Chairman. This fact (a master stroke ? . or plain blind luck ?) may protect both ECAB and ACB from an ECAB dominated by the whims of political wolves who seem to be currently huffing and puffing outside ECAB trying to blow the doors wide open to gain entry to loot and pillage .

    • @Commentator September 13, 2023 At 11:24 pm
      I thought you would have left politics out of your commentary, but you showed your cards very early. First of all. There is no luck and no masterstroke about the structure. When the Bank of Antigua had a run on the bank in 2009, the then finance minister Dr. Errol Cort was supposed to have supported the bank and taken the necessary action. Which was to either prevent people from taking their funds out, just because of panic. The Bank of Antigua was a very financially healthy bank. The owner Stanford had capitalized the bank enough since he took it over from the government. In the currency union each finance minister is responsible for the health of the banks on their Island. St. Kitts and Nevis or St. Lucia or Dominica or Grenada will not pay for the debt of banks in Antigua and Barbuda. The Governor, Sir Dwight, God bless his soul, was trying to get the government to fulfill their obligation, but at the same time he was also trying to implement one of his pet projects, which was to start the conglomeration of several banks in the ECCU into a few ‘big’ banks. That is where he brought in the three other EC Banks into our banking system. Big wrong move. I mean if you are batting for Antigua and Barbuda, you would never let any bank of your neighbors control our banking system in this country. Yes, we are brothers/sisters, but we do have some strife between one another. Antigua and Barbuda were the first to fill the ECCB with USD because of our Tourism dollars. We used to carry the region’s foreign exchange. The others just had their banana industry and that was cut short by Chiquita. Our economy was therefore bigger than theirs in the ECCU. And kid you not, we were the envy of the ECCU. All that changed under the UPP administration. The run-on BOA was to be temporary. And even though Dwight brought in the other banks to take part in supporting the bank’s cashflow, it was still the Antigua Government that had to put up most of the monies. Sadly, we had at that time children that could not count and didn’t understand the banking system or the economy and what was at play here. They agreed to “preferential shares” for their monies instead of “ordinary” shares. I guess no one educated them what that meant in the scheme of things. And sadly enough, they made the very same mistake when financing LIAT. They took debentures instead of shares. Thereby losing their majority interest to Barbados. How dunce can we get? So, Antigua and Barbuda’s bank was now in the hands of our brother and sister Islands banks. It’s like losing our independence. The only local entity that participated in the cashflow support was ACB.
      Fast Forward, Foreign Banks are indicating to wanting to leave the Caribbean and Scotia was the first to do so. Thank God we have a person by the name of Gasto Alphonso Browne, who saw straight through their plans. He blocked the Republic Bank in taking over the Antigua Branch of Scotia and demanded they sell to a local bank. This would make local banks grow faster than would normally be. Looking back now the very same ECAB, not thanks to them, but thanks to the government policy, is vastly becoming the largest bank in the ECCU. Can you understand that the bank that you have shares in is greater and bigger than you? I can see the envy these banks now have towards ECAB and that is why they are not lending a hand to them. Our government is now trying to rectify this inept decision of taking preferential shares and convert them to ordinary shares. And this step should be applauded by ALL patriotic Antiguans and Barbudans. But politics will always divide us. And our neighbors know that. And they will play us against each other as long as it lasts.
      Another government policy that caused ECAB to grow exponentially was the manner in which the government solved the ABIB debacle. An exponential financial threat that had the risk of toppling the entire banking sector of the ECCU. Tell me why didn’t the Governor apply the same concept in saving ABIB as they did with BOA? As far as the governor was concerned ABIB should have been put to rest and Antiguan and Barbudan depositors should have been the only losers. No other bank in the ECCU was willing to put money into ABIB. Oh no. And the then government led by the then finance minister Harold Lovell, were out of their depth. Taking advice from the IMF, they were not allowed to use IMF monies to place into ABIB.(By the way it’s the same advice that Mia Mottley took from them not to put any IMF monies into saving LIAT). The directors begged the government on several occasions to give them a helping hand. Since the government had many loans on the books of ABIB. They even blocked any government agency from closing or moving any funds from out of their banks. Meanwhile the daily liquidity support was placed in the government account by the Central Bank. Other local banks were told to honor checks issued by ABIB customers, even though ABIB could not settle these. And while Antigua was burning, Lovell was twiddling his thumbs. No answer as to how to solve the crisis other than to let ABIB fall and thousands lose their monies. Sometimes I wonder when ABIB depositors will come to understand how close they came to losing all their savings. Had it not been for this Gaston Browne led government that was able to think outside the box. Financial Engineering is a new word created by this Gaston Browne administration. It makes things look easy when you solve complex financial problems. But in the end what Antiguans and Barbudans do not realize is that our tax dollars are being used to payback all the losses of the ABIB debacle. Estimated to cost about $300million. The only one gaining and benefiting from that was ECAB. They got all the good loans to take over and matched them with deposits. So, for every dollar of a good loan, they would take a dollar deposit. And the government would take care of the bad loans. What do you do with bad loans. You put them into the Asset Recovery Company from the ECCB. Happy if you get 10 cents on the dollar. But someone will have to pay the 90 cents. You the taxpayer. I would like the depositors of ABIB to understand that it is we the taxpayers that have put in the monies so you can keep your money. Your money was virtually lost. Ungratefulness is worse than witchcraft. And I know our Prime Minister is not looking to be praised. He does what he does, out of the goodness of his heart. And he feels it is his job to look out for the people of this country. He could have followed the advice of the Central Bank and let all the depositors at ABIB lose their money. And apart from the depositors, he insisted that the ECAB took over all the staff as well. And that all the severance to the staff would be paid. I believe it has cost taxpayers more than $300 million. ABIB was not just a case of Cash Flow. Their overseas investment went south with the earthquake of Haiti and the fall of the Brazilian Odebrecht scandal. One should remember that one of the persons implicated in the Odebrecht scandal was at one time the manager of the AOB. The offshore bank of the ABI Financial Group. They also lost money in their Turks and Caicos project. Where they had invested in an offshore bank that also got closed down. And they had some very dubious lending practices amongst themselves as directors. I said it once and I’ll say it again, these men and women, who most are my friend and golfing buddies should have been facing a public inquiry to determine their guilt. But our PM seems to protect the white color crime at the expense of the taxpayers. Someone should sue him for obstruction of justice. But you see no one personally lost money. So, things remain the way they are. So you see Commentator it’s after all not a brilliant move, but a very smart cunning move that was implemented to keep our financial institutions in the hands and control of other islands and most of their profits that first used to go to Canada, will now go to St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and to St. Vincent. Thanks to an inept government named UPP.

      • Again, @ From The Sideline, it seems that you cannot handle facts and reasonable responses from other people with a different point of view than yourself.

        A healthy debate is what democracy is all about.

        I believe what is now bothering you now, is that the opposing viewpoint is gathering pace, and you’ve lost focus – again – and are resorting to unreadable diatribes; including trying to influence the ANR editorial team.

        How sad, but very funny at the same time. 😂

        • As you say on one hand it is a debate. You have several points of view. And in a debate, you rebut other’s points of view. I guess you were never on the debate team. Let me tell you at campus on the weekends we used to debate throughout the night. The girls sometimes used to tell us, OK guys enough time to go now. But then again, we had some liquor as well and some weed in. We’re higher than the rock.
          If you cannot handle me, sorry for you. But when you chat crap, I will challenge you. And that is what Commentator did. Chat crap. Pure doodoo.

  12. Exactly! @Not So Common. Was just about to say this! He has a personal vendetta against the Chairman. He cares nothing for the people!

  13. Craig Walter is protecting the bank and its depositors against Gaston Browne, a greedy, avaricious politician who wants to take over the bank and plunder it. We should be thanking Craig Walter for his quiet stand against the PM. He is doing his job well. Gaston would replace him with someone who would do only what Gaston wants and not what is best for the bank. We do not want that.

    • So where was Craig when UPP ran it into the ground and the same Gaston administration had to pump millions in it to keep it from collapsing? Ya’ll heart wicked in this island, not to mention the selective amnesia most of you suffer from.

      • @ ABS

        What the hell are you talking about? Wasn’t it the same UPP government that brought the shareholder governments and their national banks together to ‘bail out’ and re-capitalise the bank.
        People like you just chat because you have a filthy lying mouth.
        Go cute your halatosis

        • @awful September 14, 2023 At 2:32 pm
          read my post. You are so wrong. It was the Governor Dwight Veneer who did that. And he played a real fast one on them. Now our largest bank is in the hands of St. Lucia, St. Kitts Nevis and St. Vincent. And most of the profits go to these Islands. If you love your country, do you think that is right? I guess not. And yet these UPP people want to claim they love Antigua and Barbuda but will not stand up for it.
          Ah yah me barn

    • So, how come, all the agencies, even the IMF, ECLAC and ECCB are lauding the government for the growth in the economy year after year after year safe from Covid year 2019. You guys love to lie so much it is not funny.
      Continue your lies. I’m only here to expose your each time you do.

      • Remember Sidey, other commentators are RIGHTFULLY entitled to their viewpoints as well.

        As much as you would like Antigua to become a dictatorship with YOUR Prime Minister at the helm, however until then, you’ll have to embrace differing points of views.

        Don’t stress out yourself too much … it’s not worth it sup! 😁

        • I do not stand for lies, silly lies. When you leave them unchallenged, they become truth for some.
          You all did enough damage to my dear late friend Lester Brilliant Bryant Bird with your lies. And never ever did any of them repent for them. Even when Lester Bird won his defamation case in court. Like the ambassador who claimed she had information, only when the police picked her up to present the information she backed and said, it was something she heard someone say. The interviewers ran and left the country and the little girl said she was paid to make the allegations. And she never came back to Antigua. Nothing but dirty liars they are.

          • @ From The Sideline, you start by saying: “I do not stand for lies, silly lies …”

            And then you go on to say: “…you all did enough damage to my dear late friend Lester Brilliant Bryant Bird …”

            If you cannot see the duplicity and double speak in both those statements that you’ve made, then you have a bigger problem with finding truth than lies.

            I understand now why loyalty to the Bird and Browne family means more to you than putting your COUNTRY first … please accept my apologies Sidey.


  14. Gaston Browne, do you ever stop to think before you speak? Enquiring minds would like to know. Kettle calling pot black. hahaha

  15. Gaston telling someone else to resign for poor performance? Hypocrisy at its highest! Do you remember when Gaston first became PM, he said he was going to turn Antigua into the next Singapore? A decade on and where is this new Singapore? Things are worse under Gaston than ever! Gaston needs to resign for poor performance.

    • @Singapore? September 14, 2023 At 10:17 am
      If as you say, things are worse why are the agencies such as IMF, ECCB, CDB, ECLAC not saying that? All they are saying is that Antigua is the second fastest growing economy in the region. Only Guyana has a faster growth rate. But we know that is because of their newfound wealth OIL.

      • Second fastest growing because of the false inflation included in the figures. Food inflation and ABLP taking advantage of it to fleece the poor man instead of passing any help on to poor people.

        • Totally agree about fleecing the poor instead of redistribution @ cryingg, however the Prime Minister’s distribution only goes as far as his family, cronies and his self-enriched close circle of associates.

          Hopefully, when one of the many number pending issues with the government is eventually INDEPENDENTLY investigated he’ll hand in his resignation and Antigua will recover and rebuild for future generations to enjoy.

          I HAVE A DREAM …

          • @Brixtonian September 14, 2023 At 7:09 pm
            I thought already something was wrong with you. But now I know. You are a dreamer. I’ll wake you up in 2028. Then I’ll give you another five more years in your nennen. Whoops whaps in your tail. Sleep well until 2028 Brix.

  16. I am appalled at the language used on this platform. Make your point weather Positive or Negative. However let good sense prevail. Are we now to hold Antigua News Room responsible ???

  17. This is partially Gaston’s fault. He should have checked if the local banks he went to bat for could do the job in the first place.
    I do believe that heads at ECAB need to roll though but moreso management than the Chairman. ECAB is disrupting people’s lives and livelihoods and I cannot discount that simply because Gaston is calling out these flaws.
    ECAB is horrible and 0/10 would not recommend as a former Scotiabank customer.

    • Chups September 14, 2023 At 1:52 pm
      now that is a sensible opinion. You do not need to agree with the PM that the chairman has to go. But in the end the PM is addressing an issue that people are bringing to his attention, and he does so in the interest of many. And I also can agree with you. Fire the management. Even the Central Bank Governor when he paid a visit to Antigua got an earful from the people about the bank’s customer service. And he told them to pull up their socks. And he promised to put things in place to monitor them. I am waiting for that. I hope this is sooner rather than later. the manager Mr. Spencer must by now have gotten the message more than once. But what is he doing about it? Why isn’t he doing a press conference to explain to the public what the issues are that he is facing, why the service of the bank is so piss poor.

  18. @Robocar September 14, 2023 At 1:00 pm
    It is the editor that decides what gets published. I have called on him/her on many times to keep the discussion standard high, however he/she refuses to. Don’t know what they get out of it. But certainly, I wanted to stop for a long time, but I just cannot let these gutter rats win. I just start ignoring them when they call me all sorts of names. And I will not go down to their level of disrespect of people I do not even know. I was told his name is Anderson Edgehill. He used to be at ABS, but if it is him, he should know better. It has nothing to do with Free Speech. Just keeping things civilized.

  19. Are some of these comments real!!! People really on here saying this man doing a good job. Them serious or because they are not ECAB customers and they don’t support Gastank Browne so the shitty service of ECAB nar affect them. This guy full of shit and idgaf wha he beef with Gastank Browne be. Under his watch ECAB shitty service git even more shitty and he and all the managers need fa go!!!

    • @Fed up ECAB customer

      How much was your minion pay to post that?

      He is the chairman of the board – not involved in the day to day management of the bank.
      I wish you would apply the same standards to Gaston and complain of the shitty country and lack of services we receive, including poor street lighting, haphazard garbage collection, the stench of the city etc etc

      • Fck u🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼 and fck Gastank Browne 🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼and fck who fcking pay u to reply to me🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼. This fcker and the entire management of ECAB should be fired

        • @ Fed up ECAB customer

          you are as sick as the one who pays you. which one of you use more risperdal?

          As for me, I have an independent mind and work for myself. NO POLITICIAN CAN BUY ME, LIKE DEM BUY R U🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  20. Interesting to know how much money is owed to CUB by the government, politicians and their families. The government is apparently the major shareholder in CUB. All this criticism of Craig Walter is because Gaston cannot control the bank. Keep ratta away from cheese.

    • @Just wondering September 14, 2023 At 4:34 pm
      Read the 2015 Banking Act. and educate yourself, so that you do not make stupid statements.
      After what happened to the ABIB bank in 2009-2014, it was clear that ABIB overlended to the then UPP Government. And that without any collateral as security. The hands of the Governor of the Central Banks were tied. He could not unilaterally take action when a bank was in distress. He could not even decide who could sit on the board. Now all of that is in his power. Not in the hands of the Minister of Finance. That is why Gaston can call for the removal of Mr. Walter how much he wants. It is not his call. It’s the call of the shareholders and the Governor of the Central Bank.

      The Banking Act 2015 was drafted within the context of developing a single banking space in the ECCU. The ECCB is the licensing authority for the banking sector and a single license authorizes a financial institution to operate in the space on a branch basis subject to approval of location of new business premises.,location%20of%20new%20business%20premises.

  21. Gaston clown is the one who caused ecab to hang their hat where they can’t reach it , republic bank could have taken over ecab but the clown with all his arrogance said not over his dead body, gaston clown you’re such an ass u crazy bald head idiot.

    • Oh yes he stood up for Antigua and Barbuda. And since then ACB bought RBC and now is called ACB Caribbean and guess what they have a branch in another ECCU. An Antigua Bank overseas. How nice. Thanks to the foresight of Gaston Browne. I wish ECAB has some better managers and board members to steer the ship.

  22. @From The Sideline

    Thank for the lecture.
    I was “poking the bear” seems that you were the bear I got .

    As far as I am aware the initial model for bank resolution or rescue was based on ECCB intervention in Bank of Montserrat in 1993 . So there were models in place before Bank of Antigua and ABIB interventions.

    Indeed ACB and ECAB are amount the largest ECCB Indigenous banks by Assets based on last public figures available to me.

    removal of Directors though tends to be based on lack of profitability of the entity or behavior unbecoming of a person in such a responsible position .

    (1) St Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank (2022 EC$300 Million loss on asset valuation. 10 of
    11 Directors replaced)
    (2) Bank of Saint Lucia
    (3) Antigua Commercial Bank
    (4) Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank
    (5) Grenada Co-operative Bank
    (6) National Bank of Dominica
    (7) 1st National Bank St. Lucia
    (8) Bank of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
    (9) National Commercial Bank of Anguilla
    (10) The Bank of Nevis
    (11) Bank of Montserrat
    (12) ACB Grenada Bank
    (13) Caribbean Union Bank
    (14) St Vincent Co-operative Bank Ltd

    There are many complaints about service and access/Online services for many of the ECCB Indigenous banks however so ECCAB is not alone
    In my attempt to get latest figures I noticed CUB website was down for a couple of weeks.
    Seem to be back up. I did find their 2022 financial statement in the Antigua and Barbuda Gazette.
    The indigenous banks need to step up their service.
    Banking and Air Services are two key areas for OECS advancement.

    But I still maintain that are always wolves outside howling and huffing and puffing. (poke , poke)

  23. Anyway time to try to get proactive and make some suggestions .

    The issue can be split in to two actual ones.

    1) Poor Customer service
    2) A disgruntled Shareholder

    Issue #1 could be approached by suggesting that ECAB
    do regular customer service surveys (If they are not already) then management dialog with stakeholders via a live “stakeholder” forum. Many banks do the surveys via small fill in cards placed in their branches , asking the customer to rate several areas of service etc as well a providing for some comments from the customer.

    Issue #2 is an internal ECAB shareholder matter .
    As it has not been to the satisfaction of the Government of Antigua.
    It would seem that a majority of the other shareholders or Directors
    are not in favor of the request from the Government of Antigua .
    Or the request is not in line with the company’s Articles of Association.
    I hardly see a Board Chairman of a private company defying a majority
    decision of the Board and the company’s Articles of Association .
    So it appears that we are may not be not getting the full facts here.


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