Antigua threatens Scotiabank in row over asset sale

The row between the Bank of Nova Scotia, also known as Scotiabank, and Antigua’s government over demands by authorities for the institution to sell its assets to a local bank rather than to a rival is heating up, with authorities there threatening to nationalize Scotiabank’s assets in the interest of the public.
Late last year, the Canadian financial institution announced plans to sell off assets in nine Caribbean countries, Guyana in the south and countries in the north and eastern Caribbean, to Trinidad’s Republic Bank.
In several of the countries, governments had expressed concerns and discomfort about the unusually large financial footprint that Republic Bank would have after it gobbles up Scotiabank’s assets, saying that Scotiabank now has cartel-like control and dominance of local banking markets.
In the case of Guyana, where it has several branches, authorities expressed deep reservation that Republic will soon have control of over 51 percent of the market, up from 35.4 percent of national banking assets and 36.8 percent of deposits after the acquisition in the coming months.
“The Scotiabank decision, which is made when Guyana’s economy is on the cusp of financial transformation with the onset of a massive new oil and gas sector, raises concerns and is regretted,” the Ministry of Finance said. “The effect on competition and the potential for Republic Bank to have too much influence on the pricing of banking products and rates, issues related to correspondent banking options and loss of jobs as a result of Republic Bank consolidating branches were other concerns.”
As it relates to Antigua, the administration of Prime Minister Gaston Browne is demanding that Scotiabank sell its assets to a local bank because the spinoff effects would be good for the economy and ordinary citizens alike . Read More…../

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