FSA ready to pull out of Building and Loan
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August 2, 2013

FSA ready to pull out of Building and Loan

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is ready to step back and allow the St Vincent and the Grenadines Building and Loan Association to be once again managed by its members.{{more}}

At a press conference held on Monday evening at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown, Deputy Executive Director of the Authority Eleanor Astaphan said that next month’s Annual General Meeting is a clear indication, that the Association is in a better position than it had been, when the Authority stepped in last November.

Earlier in the day, the Authority met with about 200 members who were updated on the status of the Association, and were allowed to voice their concerns and questions to the FSA.

Among other things, the members were informed that at the August 29 AGM, a new Board of Directors would be elected, as the way forward is plotted by the Authority and the Association.

“There is absolutely no question about Building and Loan being better off than it was, and we’ve been able to quantify in this presentation to members the progress that has been made,” Astaphan, also the Association’s Acting CEO, told the media.

“What is also clear to us is that even with that progress that we’ve made is that there is much more to be done, and part of the progress going forward is the election of the Board, the selection of the CEO, putting the house further in order, so to speak.”

Astaphan warned, however, that it would not be ‘business as usual’ going forward, and that the success or failure of the institution will be heavily dependent on the members; thus the reason the meeting had taken place, to give the members the knowledge necessary, to make informed decisions.

Executive Director of the Authority Sharda Bollers described the meeting as ‘exceedingly productive’, despite a gathering of only one per cent of the institution’s membership present.

“We have an approximate membership base of 20,000 persons. However, traditionally, it seems that meetings of this nature are only attended by several hundred, and in particular a couple hundred persons, so our expectations with respect to membership turnout were in fact met.

“We had a very constructive discussion, which we found to be very illuminating, positive and constructive,” Bollers pointed out.

“At this meeting tonight we briefed the members as to the role and input which they have to make with respect to this upcoming event.”

When asked about the future of the Association, the officials said that they were optimistic, but that bright future can only be possible with the dedication of the members.

“Who can say what the future holds, but if we have to look at the future against the effort and the commitment of the members that we have now, I think ten years from now we can look to the Building and Loan Association, not just 70 years in the past, but 70-plus into the future,” Astaphan offered.

“We are aware that it is going to be the input of members. The role of members to make a difference in terms of the future sustainability of the operations of the Building and Loan Association and their effort will in fact result in the survival of the Building and Loan Association. At the end of the day, as much effort as the FSA has placed with the respect to ensuring survival, the judgment call is for members and it is clear to us that is what was conveyed at this meeting,” Bollers noted.