Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, May 30, 2019

PRIME MINISTER REPORTS THAT CANADIAN BANKS WANT TO PULL OUT OF ANTIGUA


 
In a recent public interview, Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua & Barbuda, stated that it is his understanding that all the Canadian financial institutions that have facilities in Antigua want to pull them out of the country. He made that statement when discussing the situation with Scotia Bank, which has entered into a contract to sell its Antigua branch to a Trinidad bank; Browne wants local businessmen and banks to have a right of first refusal on the sale, before regulatory approval is granted. He also wants that right on any additional bank sales.

While we have no independent confirmation of Browne's statement, increased de-risking actions, where North American banks remove their correspondent relationships from banks located in Caribbean states, and increasing pressure from onshore regulators regarding exposure to money laundering and terrorist financing could be the reason. If the Canadian banks in Antigua cease operating there, Country Risk could increase, as none of the local banks have the financial strength of the Canadians, nor the reputation.

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