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Antigua Parliament gives green light to Banking Act

Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Antigua Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne

Antigua, Apr 24, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda Parliament has approved the controversial Banking Act which is a part of harmonized legislation for the countries within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Prime Minister Gaston Browne tabled the legislation that was passed with minor amendments after trade unions and bank employees voiced concerns about the bill.

The problems with the legislation centre on provisions in the proposed legislation that bankers felt went against the workers’ interests. Bank workers were also concerned about the pecking order in the event that a bank has to be liquidated. The proposed Banking Act prescribes that the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) takes its fees and expenses as a priority above all other costs – even severance payments.

Prime Minister Browne told legislators “we have gone ahead and added the word severance to priorities severance payments.

baldwin-spencer

Antigua Former Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer

“I think we have shown goodwill to the banking workers, to the people of Antigua and Barbuda. We have consulted with have dealt with this matter professionally, we intend to expedite and to resolve this issue by the end of July,” he said.

Opposition Leader Baldwin Spencer told legislators he supports the legislation but there needs to be further dialogue on concerns raised by the trade unions and bankers.

He said he was also pleased an agreement had been reached and that “there will be an arrangement to a particular provision which will allow for the severance rights.

“These areas and others ought not to be dismissed. These are things that ought to be taken into consideration, if not now but as we continue to dialogue and speak to this particular issue,” he added.

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Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Antigua Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne

Antigua, Apr 24, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda Parliament has approved the controversial Banking Act which is a part of harmonized legislation for the countries within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Prime Minister Gaston Browne tabled the legislation that was passed with minor amendments after trade unions and bank employees voiced concerns about the bill.

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The problems with the legislation centre on provisions in the proposed legislation that bankers felt went against the workers’ interests. Bank workers were also concerned about the pecking order in the event that a bank has to be liquidated. The proposed Banking Act prescribes that the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) takes its fees and expenses as a priority above all other costs – even severance payments.

Prime Minister Browne told legislators “we have gone ahead and added the word severance to priorities severance payments.

baldwin-spencer

Antigua Former Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer

“I think we have shown goodwill to the banking workers, to the people of Antigua and Barbuda. We have consulted with have dealt with this matter professionally, we intend to expedite and to resolve this issue by the end of July,” he said.

Opposition Leader Baldwin Spencer told legislators he supports the legislation but there needs to be further dialogue on concerns raised by the trade unions and bankers.

He said he was also pleased an agreement had been reached and that “there will be an arrangement to a particular provision which will allow for the severance rights.

“These areas and others ought not to be dismissed. These are things that ought to be taken into consideration, if not now but as we continue to dialogue and speak to this particular issue,” he added.