1st National Bank on the Vision of the Seven Magnificent
Castries, Saint Lucia, Thursday October 28, 2021: – The 1st National Bank of Saint Lucia continues to make headlines here for a variety of reasons – from the vision of its founders in 1938, to its recent acquisition of the sub-regional assets of an international bank and the sudden resignation of its general manager, both in 2021.
Today, she may be betting on the 20e A vision of the century to appease the start of the 21st centuryst Headache of the century that he would have preferred not to have in his 82sd year.
The original seven founders of the island’s oldest commercial bank were congratulated last weekend by another longtime local institution, The voice newspaper.
In an editorial from October 23, 2021 titled Hi 1st National Bank and its founders, he recalled “the determination, the clairvoyance and the bravery of seven young men” (who were) “willing to put what they have at stake to found the bank, knowing full well that they could lose everything”.
The Voice described it as “an act worthy of admiration and praise” which “should foster among Saint Lucians the desire to be not only followers but pioneers”.
He also described it as “an act that should be mentioned frequently in schools as we prepare our children to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Indeed, few Saint Lucians today will readily name the original founders of the bank: Clive Beaubrun, JQ Charles, Joseph ‘Joe’ Devaux, Allen M. Lewis, JBD Osborne, George Palmer and John B. Pilgrim.
Too many – especially those born after independence in 1979 – hardly know the Saint Lucia Cooperative Bank Ltd. that The Magnificent Seven created in 1938, which gave birth to the 1st National Bank of Saint Lucia 66 years later; or that they jointly invested the $ 50,000 that created the island’s first indigenous bank.
The Cooperative Bank got its nickname “Penny Bank” by giving poor working-class Saint Lucians – who couldn’t afford what it took to open a bank account with Barclays Bank (DCO) and others. international banks from here at the time – the opportunity to do it with “a penny” (two cents).
It was also a reliable financial bulwark for Castries during World War II (1939-45), which began a year after his birth and lasted for six years.
Indeed, it is the Cooperative Bank of Saint Lucia which has been renamed 1st National Bank 16 years ago (in 2005).
Just a few days before Voice The editorial’s legitimate praise for its brilliant debut, 1st The National Bank hit the headlines for an uncomfortable reason: the sudden resignation (on October 19) of its managing director Johnathan Johanness.
With no official word of confirmation or denial, however, the social media rumor mill has taken its own news.
Johanness hasn’t (and still hasn’t) confirmed her resignation, but her Facebook page on October 19 contained the following quote from Tene Edwards:
“KNOW YOUR VALUE. You have to find the courage to leave the table if respect is no longer served.“
The quote, which coincided with the date of his surprise resignation, was not the ex-MD’s own words. But the obviously loaded quote naturally led to hundreds of responses.
The rumor mill continued to spread over the past week, with speculation over his resignation over 71 overdue days of leave the CEO had accumulated over time.
Commentators on Johanness’s Facebook account include former bankers and traders, retired government officials, trade unionists, retirees and others with historical or current contacts with him or the bank.
But none asked him direct questions and Johanness chose not to respond or comment.
No reason for the upcoming resignation of the ex-MD or the Council, 1st National Bank staff are said to have started to worry about some of the online comments and trends in media coverage, some of which seemed to suggest the former chief executive was sent by the board, which he said. hired first.
A day after the rumors started to circulate, the local online media, Loop news (Saint Lucia), said on October 20 that she had been “reliably informed” of Johanness’ resignation.
According to Loop: “As details of the resignation continue to arrive, sources say the resignation is the result of multiple disagreements between Johanness and the bank’s board of directors.”
Loop also indicated to have been appointed on June 1, 2017.
According to the report: âBringing extensive banking experience to this role, he (Johanness) spoke very clearly about the issues affecting the industry and is committed to transforming the bank into a world class institution. “
A week later, the media still have not managed to get any explanation from 3ex-MD, the board of directors or the management of the bank.
Some commentators have expressed concern about the possible effects of the resignation on the bank’s acquisition of local assets from the former Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), as well as one in Saint-Vincent-et-les. Neighboring Grenadines.
But an insider tells Saint Lucia News Online (SLNO): “The case is a concluded deal” and “it cannot be canceled or negatively affected by the resignation of the general manager. “
According to the usually reliable source, âThis is a corporate matter affecting the management of the bank and not its agreements which have already been signed and sealed.
1st The normally elusive Board Chairman of the National Bank of Saint Lucia, Nigel Fulgence, remains a habitual himself and has not made any public statement on the matter.
But with supporters of the ex-MD evading expected questions and tending to point fingers at accusers or demand explanations from “the board”, the ex-MD and / or the board of directors will most likely be forced to say something, sooner or later, to allay the headaches caused by their silence and that of the ex-MD on the resignation affair.
Meanwhile, as the former chief executive and board reflect on who will speak first, shareholders prepare to meet soon – and for the first time since stepping down.
The 82-year-old bank invited its shareholders to its 82sd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled for November 4, 2021 at the Pointe SÃ©raphine Financial Administrative Center in Castries.