All Building and Loan decisions being made by regulator
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February 8, 2013

All Building and Loan decisions being made by regulator

All decisions pertaining to the St Vincent Building and Loan Association (SVBLA) are now being made by a team of professionals from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).{{more}}

On February 1, just after 3 p.m., Leon Snagg, Chairman of the recently established FSA, and Sharda Bollers, FSA Executive Director, met with Robert Bennett, President of the Board of the SVBLA and Earl Crichton, Chief Executive Officer, to inform them of the development.

Snagg delivered a letter to Bennett, informing him that all powers previously held by the Board of Directors and CEO of SVBLA had been assumed by the FSA.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that when Snagg and Bollers turned up, the Board of the SVBLA was just about to meet to strategize the way forward for the organization, following two weeks of heavy withdrawals by depositers and shareholders.

Snagg’s letter to Bennett said that the decision to assume management and control of the Association was taken for the “purpose of protecting the interests of shareholders, members and depositors, as well as the public, and for ensuring that the Association remains financially sound”.

Snagg also said he anticipated the cooperation of the Board of Directors and management of the Association.

“The FSA intends to work with the Association with the overall objective of helping to promote its financial stability and future sustainable growth, as well as public confidence in its operations,” the letter ended.

Bollers told SEARCHLIGHT in an email on Wednesday that she and the Deputy Executive Director of the FSA Eleanor Astaphan lead the team at the Building and Loan, and decisions will be made, taking into consideration the views of the Association’s divisional managers.

“An Executive Committee has also been established, comprising the FSA team and divisional managers…, in order to promote transparency in the decision making process and to encourage teamwork. This Committee meets every day,” Bollers said.

“Senior members of staff and staff in general continue to perform their duties in accordance with their respective roles and liaise daily with the FSA team as their cooperation and input are encouraged,” the Executive Director said.

Despite being managed by the regulators, the FSA is making it clear that the SVBLA is still owned by its members.

“It has to be pointed out that the FSA is exercising control and the management of the Association, but the Association’s ownership remains, and will remain, with its members,” a release from the FSA on Wednesday said (see full release on page 13).

“The FSA would like to emphasize that its management of the Association is not a permanent arrangement.

The FSA is working to meet its targets within the shortest possible time, although [it] is prepared to remain in this capacity for as long as needed to ensure the intended results.”

The release said in the near future, a special meeting of shareholders of the Association will be convened to address shareholders’ concerns and to report to the membership the actions taken by the FSA.

An Annual General Meeting will also be held after the Shareholders’ meeting, as soon as the Audited Financial Statements are ready for presentation to the AGM, the FSA release said.

The SVBLA, in a release on January 23, had said the AGMs for the 2011 and 2012 financial years were delayed because delays with “the full conversion of an updated computer system” prevented the 2011 audit from being completed in the “usual time frame”.

The Board of Directors of the SVBLA comprise President Robert Bennett, Vice President Ingrid Fitzpatrick, Dr Rudy Matthias, Nicole Sylvester, Julian Jack, Counsel Carl Joseph and CEO/Secretary Earl Crichton.