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Eustace says it was never his intention to see NCB fail

Eustace says it was never his intention to see NCB fail


During the sale of the National Commercial Bank, the main concern of the Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace was the impact failure of the Bank would have had on ordinary people.{{more}}

Eustace made this point on Monday this week as he wrapped up his weekly appearance on the New Democratic Party (NDP) sponsored New Times programme on Nice Radio.

He said that some people were of the view, that had the NCB failed, it would have been good politics.

He, however, contends that rather, failure of the Bank would have been “bad economics.”

“It was never my main concern to embarrass the government. My main concern was the impact of the institution on the economy and the number of ordinary people in this country who would be impacted,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said at the time, over 90% of the depositers at the Bank had deposits of less than $5,000.

“If the Bank had been allowed to collapse, they would have lost their money,” Eustace stated.

“That sound like rich people to you?

“And people are saying let it fail. Those people could afford to lose their $5,000,” he said.

Eustace, who is also President of the New Democratic Party (NDP), said had he done what some people wanted to do, the depositors would have been “sacrificed on the altar of party politics”.

“Well, I am not prepared to do it. I was never prepared to do it, and I stand by the decision I made,” he said.

Eustace claimed that in losing the majority shareholding of the Bank, the government paid a price for its “mismanagement”. However, the depositers did not lose their money.

“So I will take any amount of criticism, from anybody for that, but I want to make my position very clear. People just running their mouth on these issues!” he declared.

He said while it may have looked good politically to say ‘Ralph and them close down the Bank, people can’t get their money’, he was not prepared to do that.

“I am not prepared to fight others who thought otherwise. That is their business. They have a right to think what they want, and so do I….I took that decision and I have no regrets whatsoever in that regard,” Eustace said.

On October 1, 2010, the East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd. (ECFH) of St. Lucia acquired 51 per cent of the shares in the National Commercial Bank from the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at a cost of EC$42 million.