Republic Bank “disappointed” plans to buy Scotiabank in Guyana not approved

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Republic Bank CEO, Nigel Baptiste

Republic Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nigel Baptiste has expressed disappointment over the fact that it’s plans to acquire Scotiabank’s assets in Guyana was not approved by the authorities.

“While this development is disappointing, we do not dwell on disappointment,” he is quoted as saying in an article published by Trinidadian media entity, Newsday.

“As a group, we remain fully engaged and committed to supporting the nation of Guyana through our operations there, as well as toward ensuring the success of all activities for which we have received the requisite regulatory approvals, under the proposed BNS acquisition,” he further stated.

Guyana’s Central Bank recently denied Republic Bank Guyana’s application to buyout Canadian multinational bank, Scotiabank’s operations in Guyana.

Last November, Republic Bank had announced its interest in acquiring Scotiabank’s operations in several countries including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

This is following Scotiabank’s decision to leave these Caribbean nations.

At the time, the local financial institutions were not informed of the decision.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan had expressed concerns that the sale might result in Republic Bank owning more than 50% of the total banking assets in Guyana.

In denying the application, Central Bank Governor Dr Gobind Ganga said decision makers took into consideration concerns about concentration and competition which would have negative impacts on the country’s financial system.

Guyana’s Finance Ministry had revealed that Republic Bank’s share of the banking system assets in Guyana stood at 35.4 percent and its deposits, 36.8 percent. The purchase of Scotiabank’s operations would see that grow to 51 percent.

Nonetheless, the Republic Bank CEO said “We appreciate the Bank of Guyana’s acknowledgement of the value of our longstanding role in the development of Guyana’s financial landscape and our continued contribution to the financial sector.”