Central Bank “had quorum” for approval of Belize Bank-Scotia merger

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Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2020. 12:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Following the call by Prime Minister John Briceño after his election to appointed members of boards to stand down, a trio of members of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Belize did so. They are attorneys Vanessa Retreage, a former Attorney General, and Nigel Ebanks along with diplomat Pat Andrews.

The remaining directors, as announced shortly after, approved the Belize Bank’s acquisition of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Considering that the law on quorum for the Central Bank says that the Board of Directors “shall consist of no less than three nor more than four other members,” was a quorum in place?

The Prime Minister said it was the first he had heard of that and that it’s “not true.”

But he went on to add, citing the example of predecessor , that the Bank is autonomous of the Minister of Finance: “…from what I’m told they had long detailed discussions. It took a lot more work and effort for the Central Bank to approve the acquisition by Belize Bank of the Bank of Nova Scotia. It took much longer when [Barclays] or when Heritage acquired First Caribbean Bank. This one took a long process. I spoke to the Chairman of the board of the Central Bank just to find out what was going on and he has assured me that they are doing everything possible to ensure that every dot is marked and every T is crossed to ensure that if they do approve it that it is going to be done right. They met and approved and I was informed after the fact.”

The entire Board is now set to be replaced.

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