Managing Director of Republic Bank Limited, Nigel Baptiste says he understands why there may be so much emotion surrounding the sale of Scotiabank’s Eastern Caribbean to Republic Bank.
Speaking on the Power Breakfast Show here on Power 102.1 FM on Thursday, he addressed the letter written by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne to Scotiabank’s General Manager in Antigua.
Prime Minister Browne, in his letter expressed dissatisfaction with the deal being announced prior to the necessary regulatory approvals being acquired or the relevant authorities being informed.
However, Mr Baptiste explained that confidentiality is important to transactions of this nature and added that neither of the banks was planning to bypass the regulatory approvals needed.
Prime Minister Browne also expressed disappointment as Scotiabank assets were not offered to local institutions first before they were offered to foreign entities.
Transparency advocate, Rishi Maharaj of Disclosure Today, agreed with the Prime Minister saying that while not compulsory, it would have been the better thing to do.
Mr. Maharaj explained that the concept of local ownership is important in a developing economy.
However, Mr. Baptiste countered that he hopes Prime Minister Browne is able to put aside his disappointment and see the benefit to be gained by the deal.