BVI: Local pensioners concerned over recent bank purchases

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BVI: Local pensioners concerned over recent bank purchases

(BVI NEWS) – BVI pensioners who are members of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) and Scotiabank have raised concern about the acquisition of those two institutions by GNB Financial Group Ltd and Republic Financial Holdings Ltd, respectively.

This is according to Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn who said in a recent media conference that these pensioners are concerned about the future of their policy agreements at the respective institutions.

“The pensioners had reached out to us and they have expressed their concerns to ensure that they get a fair shake in the process and we are here to make sure we will agitate on the government side, the regulator or whoever has to make the final decision to ensure that those persons get a fair shake in the entire process,” Penn stated.

He also said that the pensioners were scheduled to have meetings with both CIBC First Caribbean and Scotiabank.

“Once they have had those discussions, then we will be able to better understand what their concerns are as it relates to the buyout and the takeover,” Penn added.

We were not alerted

The Oppostion Leader said news of the two bank acquisitions was only brought to his attention through recent media reports.

Penn said he plans to use the House of Assembly to ask specific questions on the matter to ensure that residents who are being impacted by these acquisitions are not worse off than they were previously.

“I learnt of the takeover for both CIBC and Scotiabank in the media. We weren’t alerted, I don’t know if any other member of the opposition was alerted on the issue. It is something that I brought up in the House of Assembly during the budget debate,” Penn stated.

“I think it is an important subject that when any company comes into the territory, we need to make sure that our people are no less off than they were previously. You have to also ensure that the pensioners, persons who have enjoyed certain benefits under the old regime do not lose those benefits.”

Acquisitions

Scotiabank BVI had signed an agreement with Republic Financial Holdings to sell its operations in the British Virgin Islands for $120 million.

CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, in the meantime, agreed to sell two-thirds of its stake CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank to Gilinski’s GNB Financial Group Ltd – a company run by Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski – for an estimated $797 million.

The potential impact for the BVI on either of the acquisitions is not clear.

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