Friday 4th January, 2019-More than 24 hours after it was revealed that Scotiabank had declined an invitation to meet with the government, there is confirmation that the two sides will meet after all.
On Thursday, Government’s Chief of Staff, Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst said Scotiabank Antigua’s manager responded to Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s letter written to her in December, and “in essence said there was hardly any need for Scotiabank officials to meet with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, because they had entered into an agreement with a private enterprise group to purchase the assets and liabilities of Scotiabank Antigua and as far as they were concerned it was a done deal. So if the purpose of the meeting was to discuss that deal, there didn’t seem to be any purpose to it.”
On Friday evening, a statement was issued from the Office of the Prime Minister contradicting Thursday’s report.
The statement outlined that Scotia bank has welcomed a meeting with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to be held next week. The response was from Suzan Snaggs-Wilson who expressed a willingness to meet.
According to Wilson, based on the contractual agreement between Scotia Bank and Republic Financial Holdings, it may not be appropriate to hold a meeting with other potential buyers/financial institutions. However, she further stated that: “We and Republic would welcome a meeting with you early in January to provide further details on the merits of the proposed transaction…”
The Prime Minister has subsequently responded to Scotia Bank indicating that he “extends an invitation to Scotiabank and Republic Financial Holdings Limited to meet with the Government at the Office of the Prime Minister.”
Scotiabank has commenced proceedings to sell its interest in Antigua and Barbuda to Republic Financial Holdings Limited and now seeks the government of Antigua and Barbuda’s approval of the sale, which will be in the form of a vesting Order.