TCI News

TCI: Oswald Skippings – Scotia Bank Closures

#Providenciales, June 11, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – This Scotia Bank bombshell dropped on The Turks and Caicos government and people in recent days, is a substantial addition to the gloom and doom that currently exist in Grand Turk post the onslaught of hurricanes Ike, Irma and Marie and the drastic failure of recent administrations.

It is an aggravation to the already high unemployment, the lack of commercial activity and other prevailing woes that have overshadowed Grand Turk over recent years.  The fact is, the nation’s capital of Grand Turk will now have only one commercial bank, a situation that is definitely not attractive nor conducive to industrial and economic growth.

Heretofore, Government had a choice in selecting its banker, now it has no such choice.  Therefore, government has no bargaining powers in selecting its banker and civil servants in both Grand Turk and Providenciales will be forced to deal with First Caribbean Bank as it is inconceivable that government would have two different banks to facilitate its financial business.

This move would inevitably increase inconvenience to First Caribbean customers in Grand Turk who are already faced with long, slow lines because of inadequate customer service, inclusive of their one and only ATM that is already too often dysfunctional.

This move also creates inconvenience in Providenciales by the closure of the Grace Bay facility, thereby adding tremendous pressure to the remaining one and only Scotia Bank in the most commercially active island in the Turks and Caicos.

It should be noted that if the lack of profitable, financial activity is a contributor to this drastic decision, then one must consider the hundreds of millions of dollars that are being remitted to foreign countries by work permit workers while so many Turks and Caicos Islanders are not employed. Therefore, this highlights further justification for the public and private sectors to first and foremost guarantee jobs for our very own Turks and Caicos Islanders whose monies will remain here in the banks and be invested here in the islands thereby creating even further and more profitable economic activity for the banks thereby guaranteeing their success.

These sorts of disasters should bring us to the realization that if we are to overcome the multitude of problems that are besieging us daily, there are some inherent political anomalies that we as a people need to recognize, admit to and commit to fix forthwith! For example.

When the HONORABLE Derek Taylor the then chief minister, conceived the idea, initiated the move and laid the foundation to establish a Turks and Caicos Bank, it was a visionary and noble aspiration.  However, once again this was ruined by cronyism and selfish, greedy politicians, and unfortunately, blindly supported by overzealous irresponsible party supporters who not unlike now, put a blind eye to anything and everything wrong, oppressive or retrogressive their ruling party was doing.

It is why unless and until we as a people stop voting for a great, noble and heroic man that is now dead and political parties whose core principles and ideologies have also died, and begin to vote for committed, patriotic people with vision and intestinal fortitude, whether they be from a third forth or fifth political party or be independent candidates, we will continue to be duped, taken for granted and exploited by uncommitted and incompetent politicians, who are no longer held accountable by those of us who vote them into office.

It is obvious that the introduction of Trade Unions is long overdue and would undoubtedly go a long way in meeting many of the needs especially of the working populace. However, from a development, investment and an overall economic standpoint for Grand Turk, this does not eliminate the need for a commercial bank.

As a permanent and practical solution to this huge problem that we are experiencing with Scotia Bank, the Turks and Caicos Bank must be reinstated! Preferably, its board of directors must not be infested with politicians and or close relatives of politicians at all. However, if politicians are placed on the board of directors, then politicians from all sides should enjoy that privilege. This is the only way independent, bi-partisan, transparent and public scrutiny will be guaranteed, and it would then be next to impossible for corruption to rear its ugly head again and effect the closure of such a much needed national facility.


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