KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, April 12, IWN — The Financial Services Authority is considering legal action against former officials of the Building & Loan Association, the FSA told BLA shareholders on Thursday.
But social activist Junior Bacchus, chair of a committee of BLA shareholders interfacing with the FSA in their respective attempts to save the cash-strapped building society, told I-Witness News on Friday that shareholders will take legal action against Luke Browne, if the 72-year-old BLA does not survive.
Browne, a politician under the ruling Unity Labour Party and an economist at the Ministry of Finance, wrote a newspaper letter, published on Jan. 18, raising concerns about the management of the BLA and asking if it was about to collapse.
The BLA was under the oversight of the Ministry of Finance at the time of Browne’s letter and $9 million was withdrawn from the building society during the two weeks after the letter.
“… the Director [of the FSA, Sharda Bollers] was very clear in her mind that the run on Building & Loan was caused by Luke Browne’s letter in the newspaper,” Bacchus told I-Witness News.
He was responding to questions about what transpired on Thursday at a meeting between the FSA and shareholders of the BLA.
The media was not allowed to attend the meeting.
“She (Bollers) didn’t name him (Browne) but she said the run took place following the publication of a letter on the 18th of January in the newspaper,” Bacchus further said.
“They also said that they are looking at possible legal action against former management, the directors, and possibly other people who were involved in any wrongdoing.
“I also said, when I spoke, that … if Building & Loan doesn’t survive this period, the shareholders will also take legal action against Luke Browne, who triggered the run on the Association. And, that is something that the shareholders are committed to do,” Bacchus told I-Witness News.