PM Threatens To End Permits For Foreign Bankers


Prime Minister Gaston Browne is urging banks to groom their employees to take over senior positions even as he threatens to withhold work permits for foreign bankers.

Browne told his radio programme over the weekend that in the next three years or so, his government will not be granting work permits for foreign banks to bring in workers.

“Coming back to the issue of the work permits, the banks in this country must invest in their staff,” he said.

“You are telling me there is no one in those banks that they can identify, someone who has the attitude and the aptitude to become a senior manager,” Browne asked.

He said his government will be partnering with local banks to split the cost in offering scholarships to local banking employees.

“So Scotiabank must bring a woman here from Canada, make her the general manager and keep our people literally stagnated. So you have people at Scotiabank working the 25/30 years and they cannot even dream of becoming a senior manager, and the only one they promoted in 60 years, in about 18 months, they destroyed him,” Browne said.

“It is not right and our policy is such that they must train their staff,” he added.

The government has been critical of Scotiabank since it announced the sale of its Antigua branch to Republic Bank.

Republic Bank said it was no longer interested in purchasing the Antigua assets of Scotiabank.

Last week, the Easten Caribbean Central Bank confirmed the sales of Scotia’s assets in the Caribbean but did not name Antigua among the branches to be sold.

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    • I have to agree with you that too many of our top offices are headed by people who have foreign accents.
      Our people have ability as well but are often overlooked or made to feel like they have no ability.
      Give me an Antiguan any day. Challenge us to be better. Have goals and expectations set. People tend to be give jobs but no real expectations set or monitored

  1. This is one of the more idiotic things I have heard.Gaston Browne is off his rockers.He is telling the Foreign Banks not to bring foreign management persons into Antigua.Is he going to tell all those Foreign owned Hotels the same thing.That must be a Dictatorship Regime in Antigua.He is going after Scotia Bank today.Then tomorrow who would be next.As a matter of fact,check this Administration’s personnel in high positions in Governance.Check the Ambassador to the USA.Check the Collector of Customs among others.Check the Port Manager.Where are they from,not Antigua and Barbuda.Is he going after white people in Antigua and Barbuda.When in fact he and his bunch of merry men are all eating out of the hands of the said WHITE MAN.If the white man withdrew from Antigua and Barbuda then what Gaston.You and your hoods would not have to worry where the next dollar is coming from.However the voters would be the ones feeling the pinch.You cannot tell any company how to run their internal affairs.You are so aggrieved because Scotia Bank ripped your scrotum out.So now you are trying to get back at them.You would not win this war.

    • @Not So Common:
      That is the best you could do,Xenophobic.Firstly,if you are going to called someone by a name.Learn to spell it properly.It is XENOPHOBIC NOT ZENOPHOBIC.

  2. Hey PM. The same thing is happening, or has happened, at Customs, Port, Immigration, Airport and the hotels.

    How come you never notice until now?

  3. I think you nayseyers knows the difference between a national and a resident. Goodness… Gracious you guy’s are ridiculously ignorance. Everything is not about your blindly political games. Give some credit even if you opposed.

    • What do I as a national get that a resident does not? How difficult is it to become a resident? Not very because the idea is to get them on the voters list. The more of them on the list, the longer the shelf life of some politicians.
      So you can keep believing that people are speaking out because of politics and miss the bigger picture of the death of our nation.

  4. While our prime minister making statements and articulating his views as if he have the people best interest at heart and it sounds all nice and dandy they maybe some unforeseen consequences because this country depends on a lot foreign direct investments to build our economy. I to want to see our own people do well but our Union in this country needs to be stronger in representing the interest of workers and our governments must acknowledge that the role of unions is critical in our society and take better legislations to Parliament that will protect workers interest through they unions.

  5. This is a good view but singling out only Scotia bank isn’t good because the port, customs and most hotels have foreigners at the helm. So what are u going to do about those operations, aren’t there any locals who the owners see fit to take up the mantle

  6. This man is a two faced hypocrite on one hand he is saying that companies should hire
    locals to fill positions of management which does make sense but on the other hand
    most of the top positions in his government as it relates to statuary boards and top over seas positions are occupied by non Antiguans.

  7. Mr. PM, the investors to the island that you are holding the real gold too are foreigners…

    the building by Pentecost Church is owned and will be operated by a foreigner,
    the CIP are ALL foreigners,
    the agricultural project that has distance the local farmers -foriegners,
    the film commissioner of Antigua/Barbuda-foreigner…
    The marijuana investors you seeking-foreginers not even the local rastafarian communities you allowing to set up their investments through it so yeah….u saying one thing and doing another.

    The local shops taken over by who-foreigners except the village shops and gas stations.
    Mr. PM your words are life and death and will cripple this island…you do not have the answers alone, the need for foreigners to help us in developing the island and ourselves is needed, any investor hearing what you say will think thrice about investing here to help us be the top of our game in the industry of our choice.

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