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“No way can the losses of BOSL be attributable to the acquisition of BOSVG” – ECFH

Press Release

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bankofstlucia1PRESS RELEASE – The East Caribbean Holding Company Limited (ECFH) in response to news reports on Choice News Now on Tuesday 19th April and Thursday 21st April 2016 which made reference to the Group and its subsidiaries Bank of Saint Lucia Limited (BOSL) and Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (BOSVG) wishes to set the record straight.

ECFH has published its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015. ECFH (the Group) returned a loss of EC$5.7 million.  The provisions taken against loan impairments from its non-productive loans (NPLs) within the largest subsidiary BOSL resulted in the reported Net loss.  The other three subsidiaries of the Group, BOSVG BOSLIL & ECGIS all recorded profits in line with expectations.

ECFH wishes to categorically state that in no way can the losses of BOSL be attributable to the acquisition on BOSVG in 2010. In fact, the acquisition has strengthened the position of the Group, and both banks hold high levels of liquidity.

The issue of significant non-performing loans is one that plagues all banks operating in the region.  In so far as banks in the OECS are concerned, the establishment of a region wide Asset Management company, would provide an additional mechanism to address the issue of the non-performing portfolios of the various banks.

A holistic approach is being taken in the rationalization of operations. In the short term there is no immediate decision to close any branch of Bank of Saint Lucia or Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.  

ECFH further advises that in keeping with the strategy of consolidation of operations and flattening the management structure which commenced in 2015, a number of senior management positions have been made redundant.  The Board wishes to thank the Group Managing Director, Mrs. Esther Brown-Weekes for her yeoman service to the Group.  The position of GMD has been eliminated as the group is being consolidated.  The positions of General Manager of Bank of Saint Lucia and Managing Director of Bank of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines will be replaced by a Country Manager for the banking operations in each territory. The Board took this decision in order to increase efficiency and to reduce cost at both Banks.  

ECFH and BOSL will continue to provide customers with the same level of personal service and over time the changes will drive a more profitable and customer focused bank.

(9)(5)
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11 comments

  1. Allow me to make it very clear that I am no banking expert. However, I knew it couldn't be that since BOSL opened a branche in St.Vincent that this could have contributed to a lost in its profits in St. Lucia as was claimed by Claudius Francis - President of the Senate.

    The undisputable fact is that BOSL's Press Release disclosed that the lost in its profits was only realized in St. Lucia.

    Now, this is the utter rubbish that we are fed with on a daily in this country by this man (Claudius Francis) who thinks he knows it all.

    Lord if you can't put a hand in our country, please, please, please put two feet.

    (2)(0)
    • ECFH did not open a new branch. ECFH bought majority shares in NCB(SVG) which is now BOSVG. BOSL and BOSVG operate as separate entities and BOSVG has been reporting profits so clearly the issue is not BOSVG contributing to the losses of BOSL.

      (0)(0)
  2. After youll put all these charges now ppl have to pay for everything youll bawling hmmmmm

    (0)(0)
  3. seems like the bank couldn't wait to answer Choice! lol In your face. The wording in this press release sounds rather harsh!

    (2)(0)
  4. There appears to be little management talent regarding portfolio management in the BOSL. There is not much that can be said without information on the various classes or loan types that were underperforming. The bank will have to take a charge or write-off for those losses. It is hard to believe that the $5 plus million was lost in the same proportion across the board in all classes of loans or the banks portfolio. .

    (2)(0)
  5. Thats the first thing they do when they at a loss.. Get rid of top management...anyways first of all thank you for clearing the air on this via a press release instead of a lawsuit against the media house, thats how it works.. The hungry politicians around i hope you guys learning how to clear the air on certain matters (all you'll worth is taking ppl to court for shit)..

    (3)(0)
  6. With all of this restructuring, how will the Bank maintain a high level of customer service, which in my view is already below expectation?

    (9)(0)
    • Pretty soon there will be no structure to restructure if you ask me. Marius St Rose did a great job as MD. that's when the bank recorded major profits if you remember.

      Senior Mangers need to get out of their comfort zones and start figuring out ways to bring in money for the bank. That is why all of them getting ridiculous pay and stupid allowances. Let them get off their butts and work for their pay.

      Motivate line staff, who look so unhappy through out the day, remove square pegs in round holes. Re shuffle persons in charge of customer service agents at all branches. Make the people children happy again.

      (4)(0)
  7. Alot of these bad loans are saint lucians taking on huge amounts of debt then running to foreign countries if they cannot pay, this includes students, farmers and normal salary men.

    Now normally this wouldnt be a problem as thorough credit checks would show which customers are simply too risky. However due to serious problems with corporate governance, hyper aggressive investing and trying to maintain the ''bank of the people'' image led to this.

    To be successful in banking in such a risky environment it is clear that conservatism is key. Trim your upper management and select only the brightest and most promising to fill the top ranks. Expand your loans team with with well trained, aggressive and socially savy loans officers, have them to go out there and get the business instead of sitting in the office waiting for the money to walk in. Upgrade your IT infrastructure to reduce the amount of time your customers spend on the line, after such an aggressive atm card campaign it is clear your customer base simply prefer the face to face banking, adapt .

    And lastly you need to consolidate key banking functions among your subsidiaries. Name st lucia your hub and export as many functions as u can to one central location. You need to make the bank as lean as possible.

    Your bank is simply to fatty. Your staff is demotivated and most have stopped self improvement so the upper ranks are being filled by seniority rather than by talent. You are effectively running a charity and not one of the most efficient profit engines in this country when it should be the reverse.

    (29)(1)
  8. Are those officers responsible for making the bad loans? Not enough information is being given here to lighten the obfuscation, which appears to be deliberate. Which aspects of the bank's operations were soggy or under pressure?

    (18)(3)
    • No boss man

      Sometimes officers deny loans and management override it. When it goes bad the stress falls on the back of the poor little officer. Everything is about pulling strings for a friend.

      (3)(0)

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