Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, in their manifesto launched for the January 18 general elections, stated that their administration has overcome severe challenges posed by the UPP. The ABLP government also implemented significant plans which accelerated the country’s economic development.
Read here: Full statement of ABLP in manifesto 2023
The ABLP government came into office In 2014, confronting three severe economic challenges, among others left by the UPP administration. No government before the present ABLP administration had to overcome three massive economic. These were: fiscal failure with a significant fiscal gap and high loan delinquency; economic contraction of 25 percent; and banking failure, requiring $300 million of taxpayers’ monies to save customer deposits.
ABLP FIXED THE BANKING FAILURE A SYSTEM AND STRENGTHENED THE BANKING
The Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank failed, placing at risk the banking system in Antigua and Barbuda and the system in the entire Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to which our country is linked. Further, three hundred million dollars ($300 million) of life savings by Antiguans and Barbudans were threatened.
This was entirely due to UPP policies, including poor regulation and supervision; its own over-borrowing from the local banks; cronyism; and its inability to pay its debts. The ABLP government intervened, saved the banking system, and established machinery for guaranteed payments of the savings of Antiguans and Barbudans through the creation of the deposit protection trust.
The ABLP administration also acquired almost 80 percent of the shares of the Caribbean Union Bank to save it from collapse. Today, the bank is profitable and is one of the best-capitalized banks in the region.
These achievements were due entirely to the banking and financial experience of ABLP Leader Gaston Browne, who had the knowledge and expertise to devise the mechanisms to save the situation.
Subsequently, when in an unrelated development, two foreign banks – the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Royal Bank of Canada – sought to sell their lucrative financial operations. In Antigua and Barbuda to, foreign enterprises, the ABLP government, at the insistence of Its leader, Gaston Browne intervened to demand that these bank branches, built In Antigua and Barbuda, on money generated in this country should be sold to local banks.
Today, the two local banks – the Antigua Commercial Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank that were encouraged to purchase the Canadian operations are strong and healthy, and the banking system is secure. The savings of Antiguans and Barbudans have enlarged and are safe under better-capitalized banks and robust supervision and regulation.