BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 21, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris met with representatives of the Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, where he was assured of the institutions interests and commitment to working with the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis after it acquires the Scotiabank branch in the Federation.
The Trinidad-based Republic Financial Holdings Limited announced in November of 2018 that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in nine Caribbean territories, namely: St. Maarten, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Representing the Republic Bank at Tuesday’s meeting was its Managing Director, Mr. Nigel M. Baptiste and Principal Advisor at Advice Financial Company Limited (AdFIN), Mr. Ian De Souza. The honourable prime minister was supported by Deputy Financial Secretary, Mrs. Sylvia Gumbs, and Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, Mr. Les Khan.
Mr. Baptiste described the meeting with Prime Minister Harris as very cordial and positive and noted that, “We understand what the main concerns would be and the main concern is the willingness of the Republic Bank to support the drivers of the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, the most important of which is the CBI (Citizenship by Investment) initiative and while there’s more information that we require to understand it a bit more, the bank is certainly open to support it because that is crucial to the success of the economy.”
Mr. Baptiste gave further assurance that there will be do displacement of Scotiabank’s staff after the transaction is completed. He said all of the bank’s current staff will be welcomed into the Republic Group.
Additionally, Mr. De Souza said it was important for them to remind the prime minister and his Government of the Republic Bank’s strong support for economic development in territories where it presently operates.
He added, “As any onlooker would see and the people who are aware of the work that we have done in some of the other Caribbean jurisdictions such as Guyana, Grenada, Barbados and down in Suriname, Republic Bank is a very strong supporter of all of the sectors of the economy and one of the areas where we are particularly strong is the corporate commercial sector. Our belief is that to the extent that you give strong support to that sector you drive economic development, you drive employment, you drive growth and you help develop the economy as a whole.”
Mr. Baptiste indicated that the Republic Bank is presently in the process of acquiring the regulatory approvals which it hopes should be completed by the end of September, 2019.