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Jul 2, 2020

Concerns are Raised Over Pending Scotiabank Purchase

Dean Barrow

The Central Bank is an autonomous body assigned to regulate the financial sector.  A majority of its board, however, is made up of members who are appointed by the Minister of Finance, who is also the prime minister.  While PM Barrow is on record stating that government cannot meddle in the affairs of the regulator, he has also come forward to say that he will be meeting with each board member as it pertains to the Scotiabank acquisition.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Now government has to weigh in on this matter.  I hope that whatever I say can be divorced from what people will see as any personal feud between Lord Ashcroft and me, but what strikes me is this, I have every faith in the regulator, in the Central Bank and the governor, but somebody had suggested to me, “Well this was an offshore transaction and the way it was done with clever lawyers trying to fix the structure in a way as to try to make it intact, try to make it unassailable by the regulator must mean that there is not too much the regulator can do.  I can’t claim to have gone over the powers of the regulator in any great detail, but one think struck me, if the regulator is the entity to grant approval for the final consummation of this deal that must mean, if you can grant approval, inherent in that is that you can withhold approval.  So all I am saying is that the public, and I see now there are beginning to be statements made.  I noted very carefully what the Chamber of Commerce had to say.  I have had phone calls from various interested persons, I just want to offer again the assurance that this is not a done deal and that the concerns that a lot of people in the business community, in the banking community apparently have are not concerns that can be swept under the rug.  I reiterate my faith in the regulator to do all that is necessary to ensure that before any final approval is given the regulator would be able to demonstrate to the public that that approval is ultimately in the interest of the sector and of the country. Government does not give instructions to the Central Bank with respect to something like this but there is a Central Bank board a majority of which is appointed by the Minister of Finance, you can be assured that apart from the faith that I naturally have in the governor I will also, not just by way of what I am saying publicly today, but by way of a personal interaction with the board try to make absolutely sure that this thing is handled with the complete thoroughness that it deserves given all that is at stake.”


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