Observation: Banking In Antigua Is A Disaster

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Banking In Antigua Is A Disaster


There is an old saying, ‘Shoemaker’s children have no shoes’ it must follow that banker’s people have no satisfactory banking system.

Business persons in Antigua whose business requires international business procedure with the customer service and transparency that goes with it, are disillusioned with the failures of the indigenous banks to cope.

The abrupt move out of the Caribbean by the Canadian banks is cause for alarm, and maybe even unfair and breach of our social contract with Canada. Considering the banking mess that continues unchecked, as our former ‘penny bank’ ACB and our sophisticated ABIB Financial Group & Bank of Antigua of Stanford infamy are failing the clients of the former Canadian Banks.

Further, clients have been complaining over the past two years of money getting stuck in the system overseas because of the absence or the size of international corresponding banks being used by our indigenous banks and the one Off-shore Bank.

It is clear that the diverse global businesses which operate above ground and the unmentionables underground in Antigua are feeling the squeeze, as their money is standing in line outside the island, where an increased team of due diligence officers track funds bound for Antigua in these tumultuous financial times.

In normal times Antigua is under the microscope as it is surely flagged as a small island  global player on the international stage of money movements, a reputation earned over many years and fully endorsed by the Stanford money-laundering ponzi covering 131 countries worldwide. Antigua’s reputation with Russian Off-shore companies and money was traced to Off-shore banks in Antigua has in times been headlined around the

Financial world making our beautiful island a pariah in the clean hands money sector.At this crucial time in our local politics with an election on the board, business people are worried about getting money into Antigua and the politicians are beginning to be rattled at the thought of an election without big money.

There is no money on the island and no way of bringing in the money except under severe scrutiny to make sure no sanctioned money comes into Antigua. There are however other ways of bringing money into Antigua but that depends on ever watchful eyes.

Cognizant of the behaviour of bank officers in their communication with foreign banks, the business platform is becoming a nightmare as those banks tamper with the character of the client, by failing to be transparent and without bias in their dealings.

Small business which happen to have an international clientele are most at risk as the lower level bank clerks expose their local venom on clients and their accounts, knowing that complaints go unanswered in the indigenous banking sector.

Anyone who thought that ACB and ECAB could satisfy the needs of the former clients of the Canadian banks have failed to consider the political components of these indigenous banks, their staff and the politicians whom they serve.

Further, the disrespect meted out to local people by the Government Leaders and their locally placed officers in the banks, who have no sense of confidential and private banking, is the cause for new Banking Regulations and a rigorous effort to attract at least one international bank to Antigua