The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, following on from a directive of its Monetary Council, has taken a decisive step to rescue the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Bank (ABIB) from collapse.
A statement from the Chairman of the ECCB's Monetary Council outlines that the decision to intervene and save ABIB from collapse was taken after full-fledged consultations with the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Both parties decided on a way forward after considering what they described as the continuing impact of the global recession; the CLICO/BAICO issue; the previous rescue of the Bank of Antigua and also the top priority assigned to financial stability in the Currency Union.
ABIB began its operations in 1990 and had a reported asset base of EC$346.7 million in 2009. The takeover of ABIB by the ECCB became effective on Friday, July 22, 2011. The processes outlined in the previously released ECCU Eight Point Stabilisation and Growth Programme have necessitated that the ECCB act to save ABIB.
The ECCB's Monetary Council Chairman, The Hon Reuben T Meade, said in a statement, "The Monetary Council has been monitoring the economic and financial situation in the Currency Union with increased emphasis on financial stability since the onset of the global crisis."'
The depositors and creditors of ABIB have been advised to exercise patience whilst the ECCB puts in place measures to protect their financial affairs.
The statement from the Monetary Council further went on to state, "The Central Bank in accordance with the powers conferred on it, will take all the steps within its competence to protect the interests of depositors and creditors of the ABIB Bank. We have established a track record in matters of this kind by our successful resolution of the Bank of Antigua. In that case, no depositors were deprived of their finances and the successor organisation is functioning normally."'
According to the ECCU Chairman, "The interests of the people of Antigua and Barbuda and the entire ECCU are our primary concern and we will take the necessary steps to protect their interests."'
Photo Credit To ABI Financial