Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 2:28 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) issued a statement today expressing their grave concern of the proposed acquisition of Scotia Bank by Michael Ashcroft through the intermediary of Caribbean Investors Limited.
“This transaction would place over three-quarters of the net worth of the Banking Sector in the hands of one individual,” the BPP says.
The party says that the transaction cannot be in the public interest.
“In the first instance the BPP is of the view that depositors and clients with loan portfolio with Scotia Bank would be exposed to the unfettered adventurism of capitalism, where the new owners would have little or no reason to identify with the plight of customers of the bank,” the party said.
The BPP notes that reports in the media that the Bank would be placed on the stock exchange in the UK validates the vulnerabilities of our Belizean citizenry with a mortgage at Scotia.
“The possibility of unfavorable and more restrictive conditions being visited on those citizens indebted to the Bank is real and ill-affordable, especially with the hardships brought on by COVID-19” the party added.
The BPP says that domination of the Banking Sector by one individual has become a possibility because of the lack of Anti-Trust Legislation which would guard against such developments since this would in effect stifle competition and make access to financial capital more expensive to the citizenry.
The Belize Progressive Party reminds that the Central Bank of Belize has a fiduciary responsibility to regulate the Banking Sector and the Party is making a special appeal to the Prime Minister to ensure that the decision taken by the Central Bank must stay the proposed purchase and safeguard the interest of customers of Scotia Bank and in general the Belizean Public.
The BPP urges the Prime Minister to inject transparency and consultative governance into such undertaking such that the public can be meaningfully engaged before precipitate decisions are taken by the Government.
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