BVI News

Local pensioners concerned over recent bank purchases

BVI pensioners who are members of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) and Scotiabank have raised concern about the acquisition of those two institutions by GNB Financial Group Ltd and Republic Financial Holdings Ltd, respectively. 

This is according to Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn who said in a recent media conference that these pensioners are concerned about the future of their policy agreements at the respective institutions.

“The pensioners had reached out to us and they have expressed their concerns to ensure that they get a fair shake in the process and we are here to make sure we will agitate on the government side, the regulator or whoever has to make the final decision to ensure that those persons get a fair shake in the entire process,” Penn stated.

He also said that the pensioners were scheduled to have meetings with both CIBC First Caribbean and Scotiabank.

“Once they have had those discussions, then we will be able to better understand what their concerns are as it relates to the buyout and the takeover,” Penn added.

We were not alerted

The Oppostion Leader said news of the two bank acquisitions was only brought to his attention through recent media reports.

Penn said he plans to use the House of Assembly to ask specific questions on the matter to ensure that residents who are being impacted by these acquisitions are not worse off than they were previously.

“I learnt of the takeover for both CIBC and Scotiabank in the media. We weren’t alerted, I don’t know if any other member of the opposition was alerted on the issue. It is something that I brought up in the House of Assembly during the budget debate,” Penn stated.

“I think it is an important subject that when any company comes into the territory, we need to make sure that our people are no less off than they were previously. You have to also ensure that the pensioners, persons who have enjoyed certain benefits under the old regime do not lose those benefits.”


Scotiabank BVI had signed an agreement with Republic Financial Holdings to sell its operations in the British Virgin Islands for $120 million.

CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, in the meantime, agreed to sell two-thirds of its stake CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank to Gilinski’s GNB Financial Group Ltd – a company run by Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski – for an estimated $797 million.

The potential impact for the BVI on either of the acquisitions is not clear.

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  1. BVI lawyer says:

    Marlon Penn needs to be careful what he says in the House. The banking industry is regulated by the FSC, which is supposed to be entirely independent of the Government. He needs to be very careful about implying that the FSC is ‘controlled’ by Government. That sort of careless comment can cause all manner of problems.

    If any member of the public is prejudiced by the banking mergers, the FSC is the proper body to investigate those complaints.

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    • Advocacy not control says:

      I do get your point but I didn’t read what your suggesting in the story. What I read is that the elected members will advocate on behalf of the people to FSC and Government (as they should) To ensure that they’re not taking advantage of by these entities. This should be done in every instance of a buy out of any corporate entity in the BVI. This is a good start I would say.

    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      Maybe he ‘knows’ what he is talking about. ?

      Besides, where in the above article did he say FSC controlled by the Government.

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    • Reading is Fundamental says:

      I read over the story about 5 times and I didn’t see what you’re suggesting Hon. Penn. Actually he said the opposite, so please read again instead of suggesting what you are.

  2. Diaspora says:

    Both banks should have had meetings with current customers before the change of ownership occurred, assuring them that current agreement will not be affected. The projected sale didn’t happened over night. Nonetheless, the apparent concerns among pensioners suggest that this didn’t occur in a timely manner. The transfer should have been seamless.

  3. Lodger says:

    I presume he is not talking about pensioner CUSTOMERS but about retired bank employees? It is not clear in the report. There is no reason for any customers to be worried , but certainly bank pensioners would wish to know that their pensions are safeguarded.

  4. Check it out good. says:

    Make sure you know your future status and where you stand. The same thing happens at the Hospital years ago with this Hospital Board and now years after workers are being told they cannot be made permanent and pensionable.

  5. Bystander says:

    Their is no need for anyone to worry these bank that are being sold will honor their commitments with all its customers. No one money or account terms will be changed. The minister is simply highlighting concerns of the the citizens of the country to bring there concern to the house a forum which can escalate the issues on behalf of the concern people. To the first comment made the last time I check The FSC isn’t privately owned so when you not sure about what is been said please relax. The statistitory board are governed by and operates under the branch of Government whether you wish to believe it or not. Don’t be fooled the statistitory board was formed to protect the government for financial liabilities, you don’t believe me stop and think what departments that we grew up know as government ran that or now statistitory board departments now cash earning and law and regulations departments of government which leaving the window to sue the local government should those departments remain government labelled department and was found to be wrong and liable to a law suit. Wake up and think. That’s what you all need to do before talking. The banks CIBC and Scotia all Canadian banks that clearly say publicly that the Caribbean has no market for them and I quote the people in the Caribbean region is lazy lay back people with no dream or vision to take us in the direction we wish to go end of the quote. This is who you all want to stay around us after they made millions the want to pull out the region is say we don’t need them if their don’t need us. People it a sale and not a bankruptcy your account and money is safe the only thing that is changing is ownerships. Chase and other bank came and left did you have problems accessing your money then so why you scared now it’s the same deal here guy wake up.

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