By anguillian March 14, 2016 10:03





L-R: Mr. Curtis Richardson, Mr. Evans McNiel Rogers, Chief Minister Victor Banks, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge and Mr. Cardigan Connor

The long delay, intrigue and suspense that marked the hold-up of approval by the United Kingdom Government of Anguilla’s 2016 Budget, the resolution of the banking sector and the supporting taxation, may now be seeing a welcome end shortly – at last.

The Executive Council, this week, has ratified most, if not all, of the agreements arrived at during the recent talks in Brussels and London, attended by Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Victor Banks, and his delegation. And now the consequent decisions and other steps taken by the Executive Council have been communicated to the relevant authorities in London for final approval. That information was relayed to Anguillians by Mr. Banks during the Government’s press conference on Tuesday.
Mr. Banks spoke in part about the outcomes of meetings in Brussels and in London – and this week’s action taken by the Executive Council in Anguilla in that regard. “Along with the EU/UK representative, Mrs. Blondel Cluff, we had a meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and we again took that opportunity to finalise the agreement on a number of those matters I mentioned earlier,” he stated. “[These are ] the By Laws of the new bridge bank which is part of the banking resolution; discussions on the terms of reference for the Financial Advisor, as well as discussions about the Eastern Caribbean Asset Management Corporation and the assent to the Budget – and all those [other] important issues that we have been awaiting for a very, long time.”

Chief Minister Banks continued: “We had an Executive Council [meeting] at 9 o’clock this morning where we had the opportunity to go over a number of items – formalising them and getting the approval of Executive Council on the negotiations that we arrived at in the UK and Brussels. One of them is the Government of Anguilla’s Medium Term Reform Programme which includes a list of reform items including financial sector stability; strengthening of the strategic delivery of programmes; monitoring and oversight of statutory bodies; promoting inward investment; small business development and competiveness; economic growth; diversification and so forth. They are all part of the Medium Term Reform Programme which we will share with the public later. They were in discussion phase within the Ministry of Finance and we are now moving forward.

“We also took the opportunity in Executive Council to approve the terms of reference for the Financial Advisor so that is on track, and we also had an opportunity to look at the By Laws for the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla Limited. We have signed off on that in Executive Council as well. We also had an opportunity to look at the entrustment way back in December for the implementation of the Regional Asset Management Corporation. We signed off on that today, as well, in keeping with our discussions and negotiations in the UK and with the UK Government via teleconference and videoconference over the past months. We also had a meeting dealing with other issues related to the implementation of the banking resolution – some of which included issues relating to the Directors and the appointment of Chairman, Vice Chairman and a number of issues which are still to be dealt with when certain adjustments will be made to the negotiations with the national bridge bank coming in place. We also dealt with the legislation that is necessary in a number of these areas. Legislation has been approved for drafting giving effect to the bonds for the Anguilla Social Security Board and the Deposit Protection Trust that will be established as part of the resolution plan. So we have been able to put in place the drafting instructions… as soon as we launch the bridge bank; and also the drafting instructions to allow for the enactment of the legislation related to the Asset Management Corporation, following the entrustment granted by the UK Foreign Secretary of State.

“So I would like to say that we are well on track in finalising all these issues within short order. We are hoping as we process these issues, and send them on to the UK Minister today, that sometime later this week or early next week, we will be having the official assent on all these matters. I am sure that my colleagues feel encouraged by what took place today in Executive Council which reflected the negotiations that have taken place over the past few weeks, and I am sure that we will understand the challenges that we have to face going forward.

“It is time that these matters should have come to an end. But in the interest of a smooth way forward, I would like to put those things behind us and focus on getting the job done.”

After commenting on a number of other issues, including potential efforts to solve the Cap Juluca matter, Mr. Banks remarked: “We are in a good position. We are happy to know that things are falling in place and we are hopeful that within a very short time all the naysayers and detractors who to my mind, want this Government to fail and, by extension, want the people of Anguilla to fail, will be silenced as we move forward with achieving these very important objectives.”
Seating at the press conference with Chief Minister Banks were Minister of Social Development, Mr. Evans McNiel Rogers; Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge and Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Curtis Richardson. The Ministers spoke on matters related to their Ministries some of which are reported on elsewhere in this edition of The Anguilian.

By anguillian March 14, 2016 10:03


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