by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) approved the application of the sale of the Royal Bank of Canada’s ECCU operations to a regional collective of indigenous banks.
Governor of ECCB, Timothy N. J. Antoine made the announcement during the 98 Meeting of the Monetary Council of the ECCB which was held on February 12.
” The ECCB has approved the application for the sale of the RBC operations in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to a consortium of indigenous or national banks. That process is now moving forward and an announcement will be made in due course. But the idea is to conclude that transaction not too long from now… in fact I can tell only yesterday [February 11] we submitted to the finance ministers the vesting order or vesting orders which is an important legal instrument to transfer assets from one bank or banking entity to another. So that process is moving forward,” Antoine stated in regards to the sale.
Further in the presentation, Antoine announced that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce – FirstCaribbean International Bank’s (CIBC-FCIB) sale to GNB Financial Group Limited was not approved by FirstCaribbean’s regulators.
“In terms of the sale of CIBC … regulators across the region considered it … all regulators including the ECCB were involved in that discussion and came to the decision… and the application was denied,” Antoine said.
On November 8 2019 the initial agreement to sell 66.73 percent of shares of CIBC-FCIB to GNB Financial Group Limited for US$797 million was reached.
After the rejected sale application, Harry Culham, Senior Executive Vice-President and Group Head, Capital Markets who also oversees FirstCaribbean in a release said, “While this transaction would have supported FirstCaribbean’s long-term growth prospects, it is only one way of creating value for stakeholders.”