The Prime Minister continued his skepticism of Lord Michael Ashcroft’s dealings in Belize by questioning the acquisition of Scotiabank by Belize Bank. He noted the various holding companies that Ashcroft used in order to acquire the bank and Port of Belize. He stated that with all the new information gathered, it should be cause for some sort of concern.
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “I strikes me that government’s position in terms for example of the proposed acquisition of Scotiabank by the Belize Bank is something that this government will have to take a formal stand on. We have tried to be careful initially, we’ve accepted the worries about market concentration but we know that ultimately the experts at the Central Bank must do their due diligence, Central Bank is the regulator but you want to end up – because Belize Bank is owned by another one of these fancy holding companies you know. What are the two he names here? British Caribbean Bank Limited and Private Investment Limited owned by Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. Belize Bank didn’t they say when they gave us so much of the factual matrix that they dained to treat us to didn’t we hear that in terms of the proposed ultimate merger on shore here of Scotia and Belize Bank that the overarching agreement was between two holding companies Caribbean Investment Holdings and some other holding company. I say all this to make the point that historically before the change of administration at the Central Bank there was a great deal of difficulty in terms of the Central Bank’s regulatory relationship with the Belize Bank.”