All Canadian Banks To Halt Operations In Antigua

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(AntiguaNewsroom) – Prime Minister Gaston Browne says all the Canadian banks operating here have expressed their desire to leave the country.

Browne told his radio programme over the weekend that it’s not just the Bank of Nova Scotia.

He did not name the other Canadian banks but the Royal Bank of Canada has operated in the country for decades.

“Certain sectors like the banking sector, for example, that is one of the sectors we would like to see controlled by local entities,” Browne a former banking executive said.

He told radio listeners that “the Canadian banks have indicated their desire to leave, all of them, and I would expect that as they leave, that they will give local entities the first right or refusal and again we make no apologies about that.”

Browne has taken a strong position on the sale of Scotia Bank to Republic Bank of Trinidad & Tobago, insisting that he will not issue the vesting order needed for it to change hands.

Browne said that policy is not anti-capitalist “it is not anti-investment it is all about protecting and growing your domestic economy.”

He said the exit of the Canadian banks presents an opportunity for local banks to grow.

“Whereas the Canadian banks have signaled their intention to leave it is quite an opportunity for the local banks to build capacity and grow rapidly.”

According to Browne, this growth will help local banks maintain their correspondent banking relations.