As published on wicnews.com, Thursday November 14, 2019.
One of the jewels in the crown of the leaders of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party was officially opened here last weekend.
The official opening last Saturday of the new million-dollar headquarters of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), is evidence of the decision of the Federation’s First National Hero and First Premier and Minister of Finance, the Rt Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, to lobby for then Bridgetown-based Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA) to be in St Kitts after Barbados decided to introduce its own currency.
The ECCA was later re-named the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
In an invited comment on the recent official opening, former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, The Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas was asked about the decisions he made during his term of office to attract other sub-regional and regional financial institutions to St Kitts and Nevis.
He noted that the construction of the new headquarters had become necessary since the building in which it has been housed since being established in 2002 was over 70 years old.
“I was honoured to have attended this event because to me it was a consecration of the vision of St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party since the Bradshaw era to transform St Kitts and Nevis into a major, if not the financial capital of the OECS.
“It was the vision of Sir Robert Bradshaw that ensured that the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA), a forerunner to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was situated in St Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr Douglas during his weekly “Ask the Leader” programme.
“The continuing of that vision by Sir Robert was pursued during the period of Sir Kennedy Simmonds but continues today as a result of a continuing of that vision by the Labour team and me,” said Dr Douglas, who noted that it was also part of Bradshaw’s vision to ensure the growth and success of the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank to become not only the Federation’s largest bank but also the largest indigenous bank in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
“It was under my leadership, in the former Labour administration, that St Kitts and Nevis was able to attract the headquarters of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) as well as other financial institutions such as the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE), the Eastern Caribbean Home Mortgage Bank (ECHMB), the Caribbean Credit Card Corporation (CCCC) and the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Banking and Financial Institutes (ECIB),” said Dr Douglas, Leader of the Opposition.