The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - By

As two more in­dige­nous banks in the re­gion go un­der, the Eastern Caribbean Cen­tral Bank (ECCB) is con­cerned about the sta­tus of the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity of the Eastern Caribbean Cur­rency Union (ECCU).

In re­cent days, the Na­tional Bank of An­guilla Ltd (NBA) and the Caribbean Com­mer­cial Bank (CCB) were closed and their op­er­a­tions are to be trans­ferred to a new en­tity.

Speak­ing on Wed­nes­day, deputy gover­nor of the Cen­tral Bank, Trevor Braith­waite spoke to the bank’s con­cern over the re­gion’s fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

“The Cen­tral Bank is very, very con­cerned about the main­te­nance of fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and good and sound bank­ing prac­tices,” he said.

Over the past seven years the Cen­tral Bank has had to in­ter­vene in the man­age­ment of four of the re­gion’s com­mer­cial banks. When asked if cit­i­zens have rea­son to be con­cerned about the bank­ing sec­tor in the Eastern Caribbean, Braith­waite gave an as­sur­ance that the ECCB is tak­ing steps to safe­guard their de­posits.

“Our man­date is to make sure that these banks op­er­ate on a sound ba­sis. We make sure there is good gover­nance in these in­sti­tu­tions, that de­pos­i­tors’ funds are pro­tected, that cred­i­tors are able to get re­paid and that there is gen­eral good bank­ing busi­ness be­ing con­ducted within our re­gion,” he said.

Braith­waite said the in­dige­nous and in­ter­na­tional banks in the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced a pe­riod of cri­sis dur­ing the global eco­nomic fi­nan­cial down­turn which took root in 2008. He said the slow­down in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity re­sulted in a sharp in­crease of non­per­form­ing loans on the banks’ books. The banks have since re­bounded, but the ECCB re­mains cau­tious.

“What we’ve seen as the cri­sis has abated is that the lev­els on non-per­form­ing loans are ac­tu­ally com­ing down; that means, there­fore, that banks are pay­ing keen at­ten­tion to make sure that they op­er­ate with a mod­icum of sen­si­bil­ity and also that they can pre­serve their ex­is­tence through this cri­sis pe­riod and into the fore­see­able fu­ture,” he noted.


Dig­i­cel has an­nounced its lat­est in­ter­nal ini­tia­tive, the Women in Lead­er­ship Learn­ing Power (WILL Power) series, aimed at em­pow­er­ing and groom­ing fe­male em­ploy­ees for lead­er­ship roles across the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The WILL Power series is de­liv­ered in three phases – an in­tense lead­er­ship devel­op­ment work­shop that packs learn­ings into four dy­namic days as well as ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing and a strict men­tor­ing/mentee pro­gramme that matches the par­tic­i­pants with se­nior lead­ers within the busi­ness.

The lead­er­ship work­shop de­liv­ers learn­ings through sim­u­la­tions, tech­niques and tac­tics to build and strengthen lead­er­ship and con­fi­dence skills, help with ca­reer nav­i­ga­tion plan­ning as well as ex­pose par­tic­i­pants to role mod­els for suc­cess.

“We are com­mit­ted to play­ing our part in bridg­ing the gen­der gap across all our mar­kets and en­sur­ing that all our em­ploy­ees have an equal op­por­tu­nity to grow and de­velop to their full po­ten­tial,” said Ken­neth McGrath, CEO, Dig­i­cel Caribbean and Cen­tral Amer­ica. “And this is a com­mit­ment that is sup­ported at the high­est level, with our Chair­man, De­nis O’Brien be­ing the big­gest sup­porter,” he con­tin­ued.

Since its launch in De­cem­ber 2015, the WILL Power series has re­ceived re­sound­ingly pos­i­tive feed­back from the par­tic­i­pants who have been in­spired and em­pow­ered to turn their knowl­edge gained at the ses­sions into ac­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Donna Henry, who par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gramme in Jamaica, “I have been in Dig­i­cel for over 12 years and have done sev­eral train­ing ses­sions, but none of them com­pare to the WILL Power train­ing. I feel truly em­pow­ered to do my job bet­ter and to do things I would not have done nor­mally. The vi­sion­ing ex­er­cise has also pushed me to take ac­tion for my­self, so much so that I’ve since been able to take two crit­i­cal ac­tions that I’ve been avoid­ing.” An­other as­pect of the WILL Power series sees the com­pany host­ing fo­rums across the Caribbean – the first of which was in the Turks and Caicos Is­lands un­der the theme ‘De­vel­op­ing and Em­pow­er­ing Fe­male Tal­ent in the Caribbean’.

Deputy Gover­nor of the ECCB, Trevor Braith­waite.

Fe­male par­tic­i­pants em­pow­ered and ready to lead.

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