ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
GIVE THE LIE TO
MINISTER OF FINANCE
SHAREHOLDERS OF DOMINICA COOPERATIVE BANK
OBJECT TO MISLEADING STATEMENTS
BY MINISTER OF FINANCE
The shareholders of the Dominica Co-operative Bank Limited at their
Annual General Meeting held on Thursday indicated that they were very
d:3pleased with the remarks made by the LMinister of Finance both in
tre House of Assembly on the 13th November and last week and over the
radio. The Minister had earned their displeasure for many reasons:
1. That his statements were untrue and calculated to mislead. And
that in making these statements he was doing incalculable harm not
only to the Bank but to the community as a whole. The shareholders
wyre puzzled by the obvious intention of the Minister to further hurt
the investment climate in Dominica and to discourage the habits of
thrift which the Bank had spent 34 years in building up. It was
rioted that many depositors had withdrawn their savings but had failed
to replace then-in any other Bank.
2. That his statements were made with such venom that it was obvious
that the Minister of Finance was more interested in carrying out his
Political work than that of the Ministry of Finance. The shareholders
were of the opinion that the Bank's business should continue to be
carried on without any attempt to play politics. It was emphasised
that Government should have been grateful to the Bank for coming to
their rescue and that of the community in granting $752,079.00 to the
low income group at special low rates for housing.
3. The shareholders noted that the Minister of Finance chose to
misinterpret the audited statements of the Bank to enable him to state
that the Bank was not working efficiently. While the fact was that
the Bank had for years been keeping the reserves and adhering to the
liquidity ratio which has since been laid down in the Banking Act.
The shareholders were amazed that the Minister of Finance who is by
Profession an accountant should attempt to confuse shares with deposits
as if expecting that the deposits should be turned into shares at the
will of the directors.
4. The shareholders could not believe that the Minister of Finance
considered himself correct when in referring to cash held by the Bank
he ignored the cash held on Fixed Deposits.
5. The shareholders were amused that the iiiinister of Finance although
well versed in the exact amount of the capital issued, in his desire to
exaggerate was unable to read the exact amount of the deposits made.
6. The shareholders were appalled at the irresponsible behaviour of
the minister in requesting borrowers to ignore the demand for payment.
The shareholders endorsed the action taken and praised the Directors
for the timely action, in recalling all loans which had been given on
demand notes so as to ensure that there was money available to pay all
depositors who requested their savings.
7. The Minister of Finance had surpassed himself when he interpreted
the letter from the Bank requesting time to raise additional capital
as a confession of inefficiency. This particular statement indicated
that the Minister of Finance wished to do harm to the Bank and the
community which it has served so faithfully and efficiently for 34
years without risk to its customers.
The shareholders requested that a General Meeting be held
early in the New Year for all customers of the Bank and other persons
interested to enable the Company to know what response there would be
to an additional issue of capital, in spite of the fact that the
Minister had tried his best to break the public's confidence in the