CCC issues statement on Scotiabank Acquisition by Republic Bank

DECEMBER 2, 2019
                                                         CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION
                                                                      Statement on
Preliminary examination pursuant to Article 176.1 of the RTC on the sale of assets by the Bank of Nova Scotia to Republic Financial Holdings
On 5 December 2018, the CARICOM Competition Commission (“the Commission”) announced it was monitoring developments regarding the proposed acquisition of the banking assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”) by Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (“Republic Financial”).
On 27 March 2019, the Commission announced it had completed an internal assessment of the acquisition pursuant to Article 173(2)(a) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“the RTC”). The internal assessment indicated that the acquisition could have anticompetitive effects in at least three (3) Member States in the Community.
As the Commission continued to engage the relevant sector regulators of the affected Member States, the following developments occurred: the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) announced that, subject to one condition, it approved the proposed acquisition in relation to Anguilla, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act; and the Bank of Guyana (“the BoG”), announced that it did not grant approval for the proposed acquisition in Guyana.
Upon the review of the legal framework regarding its powers to monitor and investigate potentially anti-competitive conduct, the Commission concludes that while the acquisition fell within its cross-border jurisdiction, it is not in a position to investigate the transaction because of inadequate legislative and institutional frameworks in the Member States affected.
The Commission maintains that the transaction still creates competition concerns in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (“ECCU”). However, considering it does not have jurisdiction to investigate the acquisition in the Member States affected at this time, the Commission wishes to announce its closure of its preliminary assessment of the transaction. The Commission will also continue to monitor the banking sectors of the ECCU and engage in advocacy around competition issues in that sector where feasible.
The Commission takes this opportunity to encourage Member States in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy to prioritise the finalisation and implementation of competition legislation to strengthen the capacity of the region to address these important matters.

CARICOM Competition Commission
Hendrikstraat 69, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: (597) 491-455/491-470/ Fax: (597) 530-639
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: