February 15, 2013
Eustace denies being briefed about bad loans

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has denied that he was briefed about the status of the loan portfolio of the Building and Loan Association (BLA) when he met with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) last week.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, at a press conference on Tuesday, charged that Eustace had been informed of the high level of delinquent loans and the poor governance at the financial institution, during a one-hour meeting he had with FSA top executives Shada Bollers and Eleanor Astaphan.

“So when he says he does not know, that is not true,” the prime minister said.

According to the prime minister, Eustace was accompanied to the meeting with the FSA by the New Democratic Party’s Vice President St Clair Leacock and one other official.

“He (Eustace) knows what I am saying here and more, because I have seen the briefing papers from the Financial Services Authority, which I know, given from their professionalism, they would have presented this kind of information,” Gonsalves said.

But Eustace, speaking on Nice Radio following the prime minister’s press conference, said that while he and Leacock met with members of the FSA, they were never given purview of the financial institution’s portfolio.

“That is a dastardly lie! We were never informed on anything with respect to the portfolio of the Building and Loan,” Eustace said.

“We were never told anything about delinquency rates; they gave us some broad information. So, when the prime minister giving the impression that we got all the information that is a lie.

“Mr Leacock and myself were never told anything with respect to the status of the portfolio of BLA, so I don’t know what the prime minister is talking about,” the Leader of the Opposition said. (DD)