Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves invested EC$21,000 in Building and Loan on behalf of one of his daughters on Feb. 1. News emerged on Monday, Feb. 11, that two of his brothers withdrew some $1 million from BLA in October 2012. (Photo: Facebook)
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves invested EC$21,000 in Building and Loan on behalf of one of his daughters on Feb. 1. News emerged on Monday, Feb. 11, that two of his brothers withdrew some $1 million from BLA in October 2012. (Photo: Facebook)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 11, IWN — Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Monday again attempted to reassure Building & Loan Association depositors even as he responded to a disclosure that his own brothers had withdrawn some $1 million from the financial institution.

He described as “purely rubbish” a call by Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) details to the public all the reasons for its Feb. 1 take-over of the BLA.

“What they (FSA) need to do is what they have done: to state the broad reasons,” Gonsalves said on radio.

“From the time you start to give detailed reasons, you are getting into a realm where you have a whole set of arguments and speculations about this that and the other.

“The people are satisfied that they (FSA) had good reason to enter: to maintain the stability of the institution (BLA) and for it to come out at the end further strengthened.

“That’s what people want. And when they (FSA) had come tell me they going to do it (take-over BLA), it was not in my place to tell them don’t do it. All I said to them let me just make the arrangements just in case you are going to need any support when you go in,” Gonsalves said.

The FSA took over BLA after a letter in a newspaper on Jan. 18 by a Ministry of Finance economist triggered a run on the BLA.

Gonsalves said he had written to the International Monetary Fund for further technical assistance. In addition to that, the FSA and BLA were already receiving assistance from the World Bank.

He said any additional financial resources needed will be sourced “to make sure the BLA not only survives but thrives and is further strengthened…

“Your money in Building & Loan — take it from me, FSA will make it safe and any support system they need, including support resources … this prime minister will make sure that they are provided,” Gonsalves said.

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