Friday, 27 July 2012 02:30
By Everton Barnes
Antigua St. John’s - The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is at the receiving end of additional powers to determine who sits on the board of directors as well as who is appointed to senior management of financial institutions in Antigua and Barbuda.
This as the House of Representatives meets in St John’s today to consider a number of important matters, including an amendment to the Banking Act of 2005.
Parliamentary sources say the amendment will require financial institutions to inform the ECCB of any changes to the board of directors and appointments to senior management.
This would allow the ECCB to review whether or not such individuals meet the criteria set out in Section 26 of the original Act. The proposed amendment places the onus on the ECCB to recommend to the Minister of Finance such action as may be necessary should any director or senior management be deemed to be unfit for the position.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to withdraw the proposed amendment to the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax Amendment 2012. Parliamentary sources did not give any reason for this move, and there has been no word from the government on its decision.
The sitting of the House of Representatives is expected to be quite intense, particularly when matters related to the motion on the establishment of the Boundaries Commission come up for debate.
The Boundaries Committee has already been meeting, and there is word that it has completed its report that envisages widespread changes to the boundaries of most of the constituencies on Antigua.
The opposition ALP has been on record to say that it will oppose the proposed changes because they put the party at a significant disadvantage ahead of the 2014 general elections.
Printed below is the criteria for board and senior management of financial institutions.
26. (1) Any person who, on the commencement of this Act, is a director, significant shareholder, or manager of a financial institution, shall not be qualified to hold or continue to hold that position with a financial institution unless he is a fit and proper one to hold that position.
(2) In determining whether a person is a fit and proper person to hold any particular position, regard shall be had to:
(a) that person’s probity, competence and soundness of judgment for fulfilling the responsibilities of that position;
(b) the diligence with which that person is fulfilling or likely to fulfill the responsibilities of that position; and
(c) whether the interests of depositors or potential depositors of the licenced financial institution are, or are likely to be, in any way threatened by that person holding that position.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), in determining whether a person is fit and proper person to hold any position referred to in subsection (1), regard may be had to the previous conduct and activities in business or financial matters of the person in question and, in particular, to any evidence that the person has
(a) committed an offence involving fraud or other dishonesty or disreputable conduct.
(b) contravened any provision made by or under an enactment designed for protecting members of the public against financial loss due to dishonesty, incompetence or malpractice by persons concerned in the provision of banking, insurance, investment or other financial services or the management of companies or against financial loss due to the conduct
of a discharged or undischarged bankrupt;
(c) engaged in any business practices appearing to the board to be deceitful or oppressive or otherwise improper (whether unlawful or not) or which otherwise reflect discredit on that person’s method of conducting business;
(d) an employment record which leads the board to believe that the person carried out an act of impropriety in the handling of his employer’s business;
(e) engaged in or been associated with any other business practices or otherwise conducted himself in such a way as to cast doubt on his competence and soundness of judgment.
(f) engaged in any act constituting disreputable conduct.