February 1, 2013
FSA appeals for calm in Building and Loan matter

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is giving priority attention to working with the St Vincent Building and Loan Association, and has appealed for “calm and good judgment on the part of the public”.{{more}}

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the FSA said its “uppermost objective” is of “safeguarding the interests of shareholders, members and depositors”.

The statement from the FSA comes in the wake of concerns expressed by members of the public, following the publication of a letter written by economist Luke Browne in the Vincentian newspaper of January 18. In the letter, Browne expressed concern about the management and financial health of the 70-year-old institution.

“As the newly established regulatory authority with responsibility for the non bank financial sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including the Building and Loan Association, the Authority is committed to its objective of ensuring the safety and soundness of the said sector.

“The FSA is acutely mindful of its responsibilities in relation to the Building and Loan Association, which it views as a long standing indigenous institution with a noble purpose, and further, is committed to help safeguard the Association’s financial stability and future sustainable growth.”

The statement said the FSA has noted various reports in the published media, which have served to raise concerns about the Association on the part of its shareholders and members of the public.

“The FSA appeals for calm and good judgment on the part of the public, as it continues to work with the Building and Loan Association. The Financial Services Authority is not at liberty to reveal the details of its work with the Association, however, the public will be kept apprised of relevant developments concerning the Association in a timely way.

“The FSA remains totally committed to working diligently with the Building and Loan Association, which has so well served the needs of the Vincentian society and has the potential to continue to serve St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a ‘people’s institution’.”