The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal has ordered that the financially troubled Antigua Overseas Bank (AOB) should be liquidated, some four years after it had been placed in receivership.
The liquidation order for the offshore financial institution comes a mere three months after its sister bank, the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Bank (ABIB), was also placed in receivership.
Both institutions are members of the ABI Financial Group, a private indigenous financial institution.
The details of the Court Order have not yet been published on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s website.
In 2012, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) placed the AOB under receivership, in a move, it was said, that would have allowed for the recapitalisation and restructuring of the institution.
Joint receiver-managers Charles Walwyn and Kathy David, who were appointed by the FSRC, had worked with the bank’s management and other stakeholders to chart its future.
The International Business Corporation Act allows the FSRC to appoint a receiver-manager if a company refuses to submit its records or operations for inspection by an auditor.
In 2013, after months of failing to enforce its plan to restore the institution to good financial health, the bank told customers that its “financial position was that total liabilities had significantly exceeded total estimated realised assets, which renders the entity insolvent”.
For this reason, it said, any restructuring would have required significant capital and liquidity injection, a sound business plan and the support of creditors … requirements that could not be met.