Senator Philip Shoul has called for the entire board of the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) to be fired.
Shoul said they are to be blamed for the “disastrous” merger process with the Scotia Bank recently.
Early in February, during the takeover process, ECAB customers were met with much frustration and lengthy queues in the scorching sun to conduct transactions.
At the time ECAB was upgrading its platform to integrate former Scotiabank customers following the acquisition of the Canadian bank’s Antigua-based operations in 2021 but the process was very uncomfortable
Shoul said the blame should be laid squarely on the board of ECAB for poor planning
“When you have a board and it does a merge and a merger turns out like this, these people should be fired. This is the biggest disaster I have ever seen in banking in Antigua and Barbuda…It was so disorganized and it continues to be this way…it is a travesty,” Shoul said.
“You cannot blame the staff. The staff are taking the brunt of the blows…you saw no managers…they sat in their offices and the staff were taking the abuse by members of the public”, he said.
Shoul said the staff should be commended for their hard work but the board needs to tender their resignation immediately for their level of incompetence.
ECAB’s Senior Operations Manager Sonya Roberts-Carter explained in February that that prior notice had been given that interruptions to specific services would occur.
There are some things that were phased and migrated prior. So, day one, Swift payments, incoming wires, outgoing wires from September 21 to now were migrated to ECAB’s platforms. We did begin early migration on our merchants; the point-of-sale merchants which is when you go in to swipe, were all migrated ahead of the integration weekend as we call it,” she said
“In migrations, particularly for systems, there has to be a hard cut-off. An agreed cut-over from one system to the next – which is the major migration of the element – happened on the weekend of January 20 where the Bank of Nova Scotia would have taken down their systems. We gave notices of interruptions for that to happen,” Roberts-Carter explained.