Republic Bank (RBL) recently rebranded Barbados National Bank (BNB) with the Republic Bank blue. It pained many Barbadians to witness WE bank sold to “others” and it pained further when the BNB brand was dismantled and replaced with RBL’s. If it WAS any consolation, central government and the NIS owned a minority shareholding which gave hope that the holding may have served as an avenue to reclaim the bank at some point in the future. Sad to say, wishful thinking!
The recent offer by RBL to purchase minority shares was successful. According to 187 of the Companies Act because 90% of the offer was taken up, it gives RBL the right to acquire ALL dissenting shares.
The letter attached dated 17 December 2012 confirms RBL’s intention to invoke that right pursuant to the Companies Act. By the end of the year RBL in all likelihood become the100% owner of the former BNB.
Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman of National Insurance Board
“In light of this, Dr. Robinson indicated that, “The NIS is looking at all of the options right now. The options are that the NIS could decide not to sell any of the shares it has, it could sell some or it could consider an exchange of BNB shares for Republic Bank shares.”
BU wishes to commend the Board of the NIS Scheme for stating a coherent position regarding the options under consideration regarding Republic Bank’s offer of $5.00 to buyout minority shares. If Republic Bank is successful it means the Trinidad owned bank would 100% own the former national bank of Barbados.
Chairman of the NIS Dr. Justin Robinson is on record confirming that the NIS Fund is cash rich and the Republic Bank is on record it wants ALL of the shares. The two stated positions make the third option favoured by Dr. Robinson the most sensible investment strategy for the NIS and Barbados. Why should we not seek out an equity stake in one of Port of Spain’s leading companies? T&T capital has acquired many Bajan companies. It is time to confront the hegemony of Trinidad.
Republic Bank, in a brave move, has announced its intention of taking the former Barbados National Bank in to wholly-owned control. The announcement has led to a muted discussion among some Barbadians, with the professor of economics at Cave Hill, Michael Howard, ‘advising’ local shareholders to sell to the foreign owners.
Apart from the principle of clean hands, the professor’s advice, which also includes keeping the local subsidiary out of the hands of the government, appears to lack any real understanding of banking and its role in intermediation and, even more, economic growth. It is silly advice and should be ignored. Of course, there is no doubt that Republic Bank has behaved impeccably in its dealings both with the Barbados Stock Exchange and investors, but with other unscrupulous operators there is every opportunity in such a move to undermine shareholder value. Is the acquisition going to create value? What about cultural differences, or are they saying Barbadians and Trinidadians share a common culture? What stress and prudence tests have been applied? Retailing banking has reached such a comfortable state in the Caribbean that it is difficult to find common performance measures of success.
We know, for example, that customer satisfaction is not a measure shared by the former BNB, since Republic Bank neither formally informed all its account holders when it took control of the bank, when it changed its name, nor of its intention to buy out minority shareholders. In simple terms, it could not give a hoot what Barbadian shareholders think about their management style.
Theory of value and property – Locke [John] uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour.
Locke believed that ownership of property is created by the application of labour. In addition, property precedes government and government cannot “dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily.” Karl Marx later critiqued Locke’s theory of property in his social theory – Wikipedia
Barbados celebrated Errol Barrow Day on January 21. One of the pleasures of the day was to listen and view the many audio and video clips which were broadcast on the day which featured The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow. Clearly evident was the vision of the man – many of the concerns he expressed in the 70s and 80s are still with us today. In one of the clips Barrow lamented that our banking, insurance, tourism and other key sectors were controlled by foreign interest. Sadly two or three decades later nothing much has changed on this front.
One of the many imponderables which seems to be confronting Barbados at this time is the extent to which, as a people, we have forgotten who we are. How do we want Barbados to be defined for our children? Do we still want to be friends of all and satellites of none? Why do we continue to allocate 20% of our education budget to education but seem to have a growing predilection to sell the fruit of our labour to foreign interest?
Mr. Minister [Chris Sinckler], as individuals own less than 10% of the BNB shares, you are negotiating for all of us on this occasion. Please do not sellout the Barbadians that have small shareholdings. There is no reason why you should not seek the best price for the Government and people of Barbados. At a minimum, seek competitive bids from other entities. We look forward to your support, in what is your first major action that will impact us. Thanking you in advance – A. Freeman
The resignation of Tony Hoyos from the Board of Directors of the Barbados National Bank (BNB) should should concern Barbadians. Hoyos’ letter of resignation was posted on Peter Boyce’s Facebook Page earlier today.
A full page statement was posted in the local press today by Republic Bank (BNB’s parent company) signalling it will be making an offer to buyout the remaining shareholders in BNB. An article also appeared in the Trinidad press yesterday. Currently Republic Bank Limited (RBL) owns 65.13% of BNB, the government of Barbados 28% and individuals 7% round out the ownership.