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Eustace speaks on sale of NCB


Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has presented information that he says is one of the reasons behind the sale of the National Commercial Bank (NCB).{{more}}

While speaking on the New Times radio programme yesterday, Eustace stated that he has been doing some investigations into the sale of the NCB, which is now renamed Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG), and has discovered some surprising information.

“I got a shock in the last month or so, when certain information was presented to me,” the Opposition Leader said.

According to the NDP president, National Properties Ltd was collecting $99,000 monthly from the NCB for rental of the building at Bedford Street where the bank had a branch.

“The same National Properties was charging the NCB bank at Bedford Street, the one at the market, that building there… they charge them to rent the building…$99,000 a month in rent. Almost 1.2 million dollars a year in rent, so the bank had to meet all those costs; no wonder it couldn’t survive. You’re paying all this amount of money for land, and now for the rent. That doesn’t include the other branches at NCB.”

Eustace added that in total, National Properties Ltd collected $196,000 in rent monthly for all branches of the NCB in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“That’s nearly 2.4 million dollars a year in rent alone. No wonder those institutions had to be sold. They were carrying too much cost, heavy costs. The whole thing is just scandalous,” he said.

This issue is among several others that Eustace hopes to address in detail at a press conference, which is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

In 2010, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines made an agreement with the Eastern Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (EFCH) of St Lucia for the purchase of 51 per cent shares of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) for EC$42 million at EC$8.42 a share.

The NCB was renamed the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG).

The Government retained 49 per cent of shares, some of which it has since sold to the National Insurance Services (NIS), members of staff of the BOSVG and the general public.