BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 20, 2022 (SKNIS) – In his wrap-up of the 2023 Budget, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, highlighted a number of improprieties that point to the clear mismanagement and poor financial state of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis under the former Dr. Timothy Harris-led Administration.
“The Bank was in a bad state of affairs. They had no audit of the Bank for about two to three years and when you asked why the bank is not audited, they said ‘well COVID’. All the other banks are audited in St. Kitts except one bank,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said during the Monday, December 19 sitting of the National Assembly.
The Finance Minister further stated that there were instances where employees of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis were instructed to complete applications of which they had no knowledge.
He said, “There is no money in the Bank, Madam Speaker. Where is the money? You go in the [the Bank] and you see documents missing, all kinds of loans that nobody knows about Madam Speaker. People in there carrying out transactions and they don’t know what kind of transactions they are carrying out, except sometimes they are just being told to do a particular thing.”
Reporting on the actions of the Bank’s former Chief Executive Officer, Prime Minister Dr. Drew added, “The past CEO of the Bank had a document signed that said he will be paid out his contract up to 2025 in the amount of almost a million dollars, a few days before the elections Madam Speaker. And guess what, he would have started a new contract on the first of January 2023. So, he would have been paid twice Madam Speaker. Had this government not changed, a million dollars almost [would have] gone from the Development Bank into the pocket of the CEO.”
In October of this year, the Government installed a new Board of Directors to professionally administer the affairs of the financial institution. The Board is chaired by Mr. Shavon Douglas.
“We have been able to put a competent Board together; we have an active manager and we have been able to stabilize the situation there,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.