St Vincent National Commercial Bank Sold

According to Dr Gonsalves, the bulk of the EC$42 million (US$15.55 million) his government received for the 51 per cent of the NCB shares sold to ECFH will be allocated to the International Airport Development Company (IADC).

Amidst severe criticism from the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), the Gonsalves Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration privatized the NCB in October.

The government will retain 49 percent of the shares, and intends to divest 29 percent of those shares to the country’s National Insurance Service and citizens of SVG and the region within the next 12 months.

The ECFH has agreed that the NCB’s monetary deposits with the cash-strapped British American Insurance Company Limited (BAICO) and Colonial Life Insurance Company Limited (CLICO), will be transferred to the government, or its nominee, before or after the completion of the sale.

Gonsalves said that the NBC controlled almost 40 percent of the local banking sector and about 25 per cent of the bank’s business was with the government.

He said the transaction has the blessing of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (EECB), adding that no worker will be retrenched even as modern and efficient systems would be implemented.

Meanwhile, NDP president and opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has criticized the sale of the NCB, saying that Gonsalves was forced to privatize the bank after mismanaging the financial institution.

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