Categorized | Editorial, News

The Banking Act discourse are in, treat disrespect as distraction

Editorial – November 13, 2015 :

We have been unable to finger the reason for the delay by Montserrat in dealing with the legislation and passage of the new (ECCU/ECCB) Banking Act. The Act has been passed by all but two of the territories of the OECS members, to wit Anguilla and Montserrat.

TMR in its permitted very limited way covered the consultations which were invoked by Premier Romeo since April. In this newspaper issue we present several discussions intended to inform and assist the public and government to move forward and get passage over and done. Some of the member states have passed the Act airing their concerns and amendments, but these go against the recommendation of the East Caribbean Central Bank Governor Dwight Venner who wants a common legislation, “because of the new economic union treaty” which established a single financial space in the OECS; and absolutely necessary for the Authority’s standing in the international community.

Much consultation discussions have taken place, questions, and answers sought. The last information we are familiar with is that the ECCB had addressed several questions and concerns, firstly through a video conference with several pertinent persons (legal, financial, economists, senior public servants particularly from the Ministry of Finance, bankers, to include other stakeholders) and directly from the Government. The delays, we suggest might have to do with the need of HMG’s sanction of aspects of the Bill regarding the granting of bank licences. The counter put forward to that is it is felt that the entrustment allowing Montserrat to join the ECCU takes care of all ensuing eventualities.

Other problems might be the current style of government to be paying too much attention to the ‘urgent’ and not the ‘important’.

What now sparked the new good interest from some very respectable quarters, began with a reaction to the Opposition Leader Reuben T Meade whose unnecessary and disrespectful radio presentation in his call for passage of the Bill.

Former Montserrat politician and celebrated playwright David Edgecombe took issue with Meade who began his disrespectful comments regarding the Banking Act matter: “…Our principal advisers are the Central Bank, our financial ministers of the entire OECS have all said yes [to the new Banking Bill]. Is Montserrat’s Premier brighter than everyone of those?”

In an open letter also published in this issue Edgecombe told Premier Romeo, referring to a published concern on the matter by a former Minister Vernon ‘Auk’ Jeffers: “…but he is right to urge you not to rush to sign the new Banking Bill into law as former Premier Reuben Meade is pushing you to do.”

There is an oration by Charlie Chaplin captioned, ‘The Great Dictator’s Speech’ where he says at the outset: “I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone…Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery…”

Can we pause and reflect? Can we see how this applies in this little country? While some are openly vile, there are others who upon reflection might find they are a little ‘sorry’ themselves.

Accepting the gaping lack of maturity among some of our Caribbean political leaders, we agree and welcome that good legislation as proposed and sought, is very necessary and may not satisfy or meet everyone’s requirement. But, in getting a uniform Banking Act, we do not subscribe to “pass it now and fix it later.” We agree, and believe all the contributors suggest, “Fix those things in the domestic legislation and move on.”

There is little or no need for further consultation except for the gaping problem of keeping sensibly informed, the public, a large majority of whom are not really interested in these matters that do not directly change their daily suffering lives. The people (stakeholders as is now a popular phrase) including the media, not adequately maintained, representation from the public at large have been duly consulted, something the present Premier deserves a bit of credit as this has not been the norm.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – November 13, 2015 :

We have been unable to finger the reason for the delay by Montserrat in dealing with the legislation and passage of the new (ECCU/ECCB) Banking Act. The Act has been passed by all but two of the territories of the OECS members, to wit Anguilla and Montserrat.

TMR in its permitted very limited way covered the consultations which were invoked by Premier Romeo since April. In this newspaper issue we present several discussions intended to inform and assist the public and government to move forward and get passage over and done. Some of the member states have passed the Act airing their concerns and amendments, but these go against the recommendation of the East Caribbean Central Bank Governor Dwight Venner who wants a common legislation, “because of the new economic union treaty” which established a single financial space in the OECS; and absolutely necessary for the Authority’s standing in the international community.

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Much consultation discussions have taken place, questions, and answers sought. The last information we are familiar with is that the ECCB had addressed several questions and concerns, firstly through a video conference with several pertinent persons (legal, financial, economists, senior public servants particularly from the Ministry of Finance, bankers, to include other stakeholders) and directly from the Government. The delays, we suggest might have to do with the need of HMG’s sanction of aspects of the Bill regarding the granting of bank licences. The counter put forward to that is it is felt that the entrustment allowing Montserrat to join the ECCU takes care of all ensuing eventualities.

Other problems might be the current style of government to be paying too much attention to the ‘urgent’ and not the ‘important’.

What now sparked the new good interest from some very respectable quarters, began with a reaction to the Opposition Leader Reuben T Meade whose unnecessary and disrespectful radio presentation in his call for passage of the Bill.

Former Montserrat politician and celebrated playwright David Edgecombe took issue with Meade who began his disrespectful comments regarding the Banking Act matter: “…Our principal advisers are the Central Bank, our financial ministers of the entire OECS have all said yes [to the new Banking Bill]. Is Montserrat’s Premier brighter than everyone of those?”

In an open letter also published in this issue Edgecombe told Premier Romeo, referring to a published concern on the matter by a former Minister Vernon ‘Auk’ Jeffers: “…but he is right to urge you not to rush to sign the new Banking Bill into law as former Premier Reuben Meade is pushing you to do.”

There is an oration by Charlie Chaplin captioned, ‘The Great Dictator’s Speech’ where he says at the outset: “I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone…Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery…”

Can we pause and reflect? Can we see how this applies in this little country? While some are openly vile, there are others who upon reflection might find they are a little ‘sorry’ themselves.

Accepting the gaping lack of maturity among some of our Caribbean political leaders, we agree and welcome that good legislation as proposed and sought, is very necessary and may not satisfy or meet everyone’s requirement. But, in getting a uniform Banking Act, we do not subscribe to “pass it now and fix it later.” We agree, and believe all the contributors suggest, “Fix those things in the domestic legislation and move on.”

There is little or no need for further consultation except for the gaping problem of keeping sensibly informed, the public, a large majority of whom are not really interested in these matters that do not directly change their daily suffering lives. The people (stakeholders as is now a popular phrase) including the media, not adequately maintained, representation from the public at large have been duly consulted, something the present Premier deserves a bit of credit as this has not been the norm.