GBLA Back to Business as Usual

The Grenada Building & Loan Association (GBLA) which ran into financial difficulties as a result of the collapse of British American Insurance Company (BAICO) and CLICO has unveiled plans to rebrand itself as it seeks to resume business.

GBLA Director Andrew Bierzynski

This was disclosed at a press conference last week Tuesday by its Executive Director John Miller who announced that re-branding is on the cards for the association on the way forward.

According to Miller, the Board of Directors are getting close to the end of the restructuring phase as set out in a “Road Map” report that was done following the financial difficulties faced by Building & Loan which had millions tied up in BAICO and CLICO.

He said that the re-launch of the association will take place within the “next few weeks” under a new business name.

“This will be a trading name only and the legal entity will continue to be the Grenada Building & Loan Association…” he said.

“We will seek to work with strategic partners to bring our members a greater range of financial products. We will resume deposit taking and acceptance of new members”, he added.

GBLA Director Adrian Francis

Building & Loan has reported a positive net equity of EC$8 million post the Judicial management period that it was put into in May 2015.

This was one of the major substantial progress told to shareholders at the 90th Annual General Meeting of the Association held on Wednesday at the Public Workers Union Building (PWU) in Tanteen, St. George.

President of GBLA, Deborah St. Bernard said that the restructuring programme was designed to re-establish the association, which was formed in 1925 on a “sound financial footing and we are now ready to return to business as usual”.

St. Bernard will be assisted on the newly appointed executive by Vice President Andrew Bierzynski, Executive Director Miller and Adrian Francis.

GBLA Executive Director John Miller

According to the audited financial statement for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, Building & Loan had a net equity deficit of EC$2.8 million.

However, the Board has announce that “the audited statements for December 31, 2018 by contrast, show a positive net equity position of $8 million, meaning that the Association now has EC$8 million more in assets that is required to pay its debts – a turn-around of 10.8 million.”

Executive Director Miller disclosed that “holdings of cash, cash equivalents and OECS Government Treasury Bills now equate to 70% of the Association’s deposit liabilities.”

He said, “While this is far in excess of what is required to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds it does provide us with a pool of funds to invest in new mortgages.”

According to Miller, this indicates the strength of the Association in terms of its capital base.

GBLA President Deborah St. Bernard

“…We have gone from an organisation that was really in a bad place to now being in a very strong place”, he remarked.

“The value of individual shares went from minus 27c in the dollar in 2014 to a positive 54c in the dollar in 2018 … because of what happened with British American and CLICO”, he said.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the reorganisation and reclassification of shares to restore full value to the active shareholder base in terms of their individual shareholdings was also one of the major highlights up for discussion at the GBLA AGM.

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