The Antigua and Barbuda Government Standing Firm With regards to Scotia Bank

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda has announced that it has examined the recently untenable situation created by Scotiabank, following a decision by Republic Financial Holdings of Trinidad to end its bid to purchase the Antigua Scotiabank Branch.

The recent cabinet notes indicated that while nine branches in the Caribbean jurisdiction were being sold by Scotiabank to Republic Financial Holdings, Antigua and Barbuda insisted that Scotiabank—present in Antigua since 1961—must first offer for sale its Antigua Branch assets to a consortium of local banks and the government.

It was also pointed out that RFH indicated by writing to the Prime Minister, received on August 8, that it would not wish to purchase Scotiabank Antigua assets.

According to the cabinet notes, the Prime Minister wrote immediately to both RFH and to Scotiabank Canada, indicating that Antigua would purchase the Branch for the same amount that RFH negotiated to pay. Scotiabank wrote to the Prime Minister last week to indicate that it would either sell to RFH or close its branch.

The Cabinet agreed to stand firm on the offer to purchase, and awaits the next step by Scotiabank Canada.

The Cabinet notes also indicated that the Cabinet is persuaded that Scotiabank will eventually yield to the offer and that the benefits that will flow to Antigua and Barbuda as a result of the sale to a local consortium will be enormous—immediately and in the future.

The recent cabinet notes added that another Canadian bank is reportedly selling its assets to local banks in the Caribbean jurisdictions in which it operates.