31 December, 2009


Why we should all move our money to indigenous banks.  I was interested to read recently about the grassroots movement that is spreading across the USA to abandon the major banks and for all customers to move their accounts to community banks.  In our islands that would translate to “indigenous” banks. 
Here is the video that started what I expect will, in the coming months, be a groundswell of change in banking practices around the world:

It is not just the conviction that many of us have that our small indigenous banks are safer than the major international banks.  There are small people with immediate, personal reasons for moving.  Here, as an example, is Stephanie Frost, one irate Bank of America customer, explaining what she is doing:

To cite Camden R Fine, our community or indigenous banks take time to get to know their customers. They make loans to the small businesses in the community that the larger banks won’t touch.  Their continued success depends on building and maintaining good relationships with their customers.  Indigenous bankers are accountable.  They have to be.  Often they are dealing with their neighbours, the parents of their children’s friends, the people they see every day during their personal and professional lives.  They rely on common-sense practices, honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency. 
The same cannot be said of the management of the Banks of America, Citigroups, Wells Fargos, et al.


  1. I agree that small & local banks are better. The difficulty in America is that the large banks keep buying the smaller ones. Even when you choose a local bank there is a chance that in just a couple of years it will merge with another, be bought out by someone else, teeter on verge of failure and then inevitably Citi ends up with your account anyways.

    I know that America obviously isn't the focus of this blog, but for anybody interested in the finance/banking happenings stateside, I highly recommend the solari blog by c. a. fitts:


  2. This does not translate to Anguilla, if it makes sense at all, which I won't bother commenting on.

    Study the financials of the banks in Anguilla carefully instead of relying on anecdotes from other countries and you'll understand why ScotiaBank pays a much lower interest rate. It's because it's a much stabler bank.

    Canadian banks are the safest banks in the world. And ScotiaBank Anguilla's financials are the best of the bunch in this country.

    Sorry, Don. You're giving people bad advice if you're implying they should put any significant money into NBA or CCB.

  3. Don I have been following your last two posts and the comments with a lot of interest. I would like to hear more responses on the "merger" issue.

    As to the last comment about why Scotia pays a much lower rate, the poster needs a reality check for accuracy. ScotiaBank Anguilla, which is a legal entity licenced by the Government of Anguilla and regulated by the ECCB, is not a Canadian bank. It is no safer than any other bank. That said, it is owned by ScotiaBank of Canada. As such it does have an advantage over the indigenous banks in that it can obtain funds at LIBOR which is less than 1% from Head Office. The indigenous banks have to depend on deposits from customers,paying at least the minimum rates mandated by ECCB. Scotia Anguilla has absolutely no interest in these funds as they get them cheaper from Canada. It also has no interest in a lot of other things that the indigenous banks do, like Anguilla's development, sponsorships, etc., etc., etc. When last have you heard of Scotia Anguilla sponsoring anything in Anguilla? Are you saying we should support a bank just because it is playing on an unfair playing field (source of funds) without any consideration for the overall benefit of the bank to the people of Anguilla and Anguilla overall?

    Don is absolutely right if he is advising people to put their money into NBA and CCB. The more significantt money they place there, the safer they make the indigenous banks, to the benefit of Anguilla and its people.

  4. That was well said ,We as anguillians must understand the need to support our local banking institutions because it directly benefits allAnguillians.The money stays in our economy and the investment capital is thus localized.While we do benefit somewhat from other foreign owned banks ,most of their profits are channelled to their parent companies.This is in contrast to local banks where the money remains here for further development of our country.It all translates into a win win situation for Anguilla.
    I am not trying to discredit the benefits of a merger but in this case we might be better off with our banks operating independently.

  5. nd being basically controlled by the same folks - in the main, Government - adopted policies intended to support the Flag and Viceroy Projects.A significant part of their capital is tied up in these projects.
    Perhaps Don should write about the interlocking directorates ( the unhealthy relationships between Government and the persons on the Boards of these banks) which have created this problem, as well as that faced by Social Security.He may not wish to do so because persons involved are his friends, but he knows.
    Perhaps Don may wish to write about the debacle which the Social Security Fund faces because of decisions made by the political directorate and their self-serving puppets where millions of dollars of the people's money have been loss forever to ill-advised investments made through NBA/SMITHBARNEY. But Don, as an NBA shareholder knows that NBA made significant commissions on these investments, so he may be shy to do so. Maybe he would be willing to spell out the common directors/officers shared by NBA and Social Security at all times, including the relationships, if any, between Government Ministers and Shareholders, Officers, Management and Directors at NBA. But no, he may be bashful on this point as they are people whom he has worked with over the years.
    Then, I am sure that Don will not be reluctant to speak to the huge conflict at CCB with the Chief Minister being the Chairman of that bank.
    That bank made a huge loan - nearly a million US dollars to a man who built buildings in town. Government promptly rented the entire building to house government departments which they moved out of Social Security building. At Social Security they were paying the rent to the People of Anguilla who own the building. At this new place they are paying the rents to CCB which is owned by the Chief Minister and about 400 other shareholders. That rent gurantees that CCB loan will be paid and that the shareholders would not have a loss to deal with if that loan defaulted.

    Come on Don, tackle the real issues.

  6. You cut off part of your comment, probably when cutting and pasting it.

    Talk to me about the real issues. If I am interested I'll tackle them. If you cover them up I won't know about them.

  7. So, Don, *which* bank, exactly, should we put all our hard-won ducats into?

    The one where the Chairman is also the current Chief Politician, the one about to be forcibly merged with the Only Other Indigenous Bank, chaired by the *brother* of the *next* Chief Politician?

    Or, um, the Other one? Heh...

    Since Dear Uncle nuked Anguilla's burgeoning banking industry at exactly the same time he nuked everybody's financial privacy, the devil and the deep blue sea ain't 'alf innit, m'lord...

    Might as well bury it somewhere in a dune on Rendezvous Bay Beach, but, heh, *that*'s owned by the next Chief Politician's *other* brother...

  8. The comment about Bankie is quite unfair. He is not at all involved in these matters and, in fact, has spoken out quite courageously about morality in local political and commercial affairs, until he was silenced in the name of "family unity."

  9. As is the comment about the other Banks brother, who is a true professional. It is indeed unfortunate that people can tear down others behind a cloak of anonymity on the blogsite of someone who dedicated his life to upholding justice.

  10. Even though I will be voting against the AUF government, and hopefully will be joined by the majority of Anguillians in doing so, I do not like the inuendo contained in the remark about the dune on Rendezvous Bay Beach being “ owned by the next Chief Politician's other brother...”

    There is absolutely no corruption with land ownership in Anguilla. Like most Anguillians the Banks family owned their land for more than half a century - from a time when beach land in Anguilla was considered worthless.

    Ian Donaldson Mitchell, you should know better!


  11. ANNOYED is right. That one slipped me.

    I have to remind readers that gratuitous insults of individuals and families who cannot defend themselves is not permitted on this blog. You may submit a comment insulting me, and I may even post it. But not other people.



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