During the 2022 Budget Statement Presentation, Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne highlighted the importance of a stable financial sector whilst mitigating against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s leader commended the financial intuitions for their immediate response to the pandemic. “Banks, credit unions, and finance companies played a crucial part in decreasing the adverse effects of the pandemic by offering moratoria to their customers and clients. This could only have been achieved by institutions whose balance sheets were strong and reinforced by sufficient reserves to absorb the shockwaves ensuing from crippled businesses, lost income, and economic uncertainty. In this regard, the timely and effective responses of the financial institutions and the regulatory support offered by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank must be recognized.” Prime Minister Browne stated.
Browne noted that the decisions made by the government, to ensure the domestic market had acquisition opportunities for the two foreign banks who sought to withdraw from the Caribbean, was a historic and successful move.
The Prime Minister said, “Mr. Speaker, it will be recalled that, when two foreign-owned banks decided to withdraw from the Caribbean, having made huge profits for decades, our government insisted that their assets should not pass to banks in which Antiguans and Barbudans did not have significant ownership. Instead, we approved vesting orders which led to the acquisition of The Bank of Nova Scotia by the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank Limited (ECAB), and the purchase of the Royal Bank of Canada by the Antigua Commercial Bank Limited (ACB), now ACB Caribbean. It is worth reflecting on the historic nature of these two transactions.”
Browne continued, “We should never underestimate the power of skillful and informed leadership and of courage. Small size is not always an obstacle to success. A clear vision, a financially astute plan, and determination can triumph over those entities who seek to exploit circumstances for their own advantage. That is the leadership our Government gave, not only to Antigua and Barbuda but to the entire OECS sub-region, in expanding domestic ownership of the financial sector. The benefits are there now, for all to see.”
The Prime Minister, during his presentation, revealed that evidence of success is clear based on last year’s economic growth of 5.3 percent and an expanded money supply in the banking system, amid the challenges of the pandemic.
“This is achievement. This is good governance manifested. That is progressive action in the interest of our Nation,” Browne declared.
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If it were up to KING LYADD LOVELL LIMPY JOE and Everett Christian, the Scotiabank employees would be on the breadline. ABIB is no more thanks to Mr. ROMANTIC RHYTHMS WADADLI POWER CAN’T ABST HOTEL RIPOFF
It was a job well done…
“That is progressive action in the interest [compounded quarterly] of our Nation,” Browne declared.”
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