A former cashier at a Midlands law firm has admitted stealing £1.6m from her employer. Louise Martini from Solihull pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and theft of £1.6m from the accounts of Solihull and Shirley firm Williamson & Soden, in a hearing at Gloucester Crown Court. Martini, who had worked at the firm for 17 years, committed the offences over a six-year period which began in 2003 and ceased when her actions were discovered in 2009. The court heard how she used the money to help her husband’s business, as well as to buy designer clothes, jewellery, cars and a share in a racehorse. The Crown Prosecution Service discontinued money laundering charges against her husband. Ian Williamson, partner at Williamson & Soden, said: ‘The operations of the firm have continued unaffected since the partners discovered the theft in February 2009. We were and are of course fully insured, and have worked closely with our insurers and the police from the beginning. No client has been affected and no client has had or will have cause to complain.’ Williamson said the funds were completely restored to the firm within a short time of the theft being discovered, and the firm had conducted a thorough investigation to ensure there would be no further problems. Martini’s solicitor Stephen Daly, a consultant at Birmingham firm Dass, declined to comment in advance of her sentencing, expected in October.
ABC says its growth reflects market improvements in Russia, Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific as well as the success of its own sales activities.Freight tonne-kilometres in the first three months of 2014 rose by 13 percent, exceeding the industry average of 4 percent growth in the months of January and February. Load factor for Q1 was 71 percent, also higher than the industry average.ABC also continued its network growth in the first three months of 2014, adding Dallas, Leipzig and Malmo as new on-line destinations and increasing its frequencies to and from Chicago.ABC celebrated the tenth anniversary of its first commercial flight on April 23, 2014. In 2004, the airline operated one B747-200 and served five destinations, but now operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 747 freighters and serves 23 on-line destinations across the world.”Today is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to all of the members of the ABC team around the world and our parent Volga-Dnepr Group for enabling us to achieve our strategic goals over the first 10 years of our development,” said Denis Ilin, executive president of ABC. www.airbridgecargo.com
SAL foresees a challenging market in 2016 as projects continue to be cancelled or deferred, and project freight carriers will have to “toughen up to be capable of withstanding the fights that will inevitably come”.SAL said that despite a short uptick at the start of 2015, the shipping market plummeted over the course of the second half of 2015 hitting the heavy lift, breakbulk, container and bulk sectors. The positive start to 2015 pointed to better utilisation factors for the MPV/project carrier fleets, but a sting in the tail came in the form of low oil prices, leading to an unprecedented downturn in the offshore sector.Geo-political unrest and stagnating global economic growth also contributed to the downturn, said SAL. However, according to the company’s chief operating officer Toshi Yamazaki, the most deteriorating factor is an oversupply of vessels in the market, which led to an “evil spiral” on freight rates. “With the steady supply of new built vessels we have seen, it is my opinion that many has been built without thoughtful consideration. This I see as a main cause to the troubled conditions,” he observed.Many owners have seen their margins squeezed, despite lower bunkering prices, as the supply of vessels significantly exceeds the volume of cargo offered in the market.Yamazaki added that on a macroeconomic level, ship owners have no influence and the challenge is to adapt the business to the market conditions: “We continue to see that the expectations of our clients are high and that the demand to scope of service rise, despite the more fierce competition in general.”Some may feel that they have to shave their offering in order to maintain a competitive edge, others maintain or set to develop even higher standards and seek out the businesses where the service scope matters as much as price. SAL belongs to the latter pool.”The markets are constantly changing; fleets from rival sectors are competing for cargoes were revenues can still be earned, said SAL. The offshore sector has seen a number of vessels originally destined for oil and gas projects now venturing wind and renewables. The MPV/project carrier segment has seen a similar trend by the entrance of bulk carriers and other vessel types. When price and position are key attributes for working in spot markets, those with smaller fleets become exposed.Yamazaki believes that SAL’s strategy of mastering its complex niche will pay off in the long term, enabling it outperform the market. “With the challenged times in shipping, it is necessary to identify niches a shipping company successfully can operate in,” he claimed. “I think that the fleets that remain focused to their core business and competences, and which man- age their costs well, will be able to navigate through 2016, what in my view will be a time of troubled waters.”Those core competencies were demonstrated across a number projects executed by SAL Heavy Lift during 2015. HLPFI reported in September 2015 that Lone shipped six units of heavy project cargo, weighing a total of 2,219 tonnes, for a refinery and petrochemical complex project in Vietnam.Earlier in 2015, Svenja was chartered by Crowley for the installation of the development platform within the Kitchen Lights Unit #3 (KLU) – a petroleum exploitation area of Deutsche Oel & Gas, spanning 337 sq km, in the Cook Inlet off the coast of Alaska. www.sal-heavylift.com
A criminal legal aid solicitor who can work only in the evenings because of the need to care for their disabled child is among those who could lose a duty rota slot due to a requirement introduced to tackle the issue of ‘ghost’ solicitors.The solicitor’s plight was highlighted in a survey carried out by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, a practitioner group, which says members risk losing their place on duty schemes even though they regularly work on cases.Under the 2017 crime contracts, which came into force in April, duty solicitors must carry out a minimum of 36 court hearings and police station attendances in a rolling 12-month period. However, to stop firms from paying solicitors to use their details as ‘ghosts’ to obtain additional slots, duty solicitors are required to carry out 14 hours’ contract work per week from the office for which they derive their rota slots.Two-thirds of the 145 members who responded to the association’s survey experienced problems supplying evidence to a contract manager or expected problems to arise. Eleven have been sanctioned for non-compliance or knew colleagues who have been sanctioned. Two respondents took pre-emptive action to withdraw several solicitors from the rota. One member received warnings for minor reporting errors; one was suspended for six months; another was given one month to comply following an audit.The association said one member, who has been forced to work part-time on medical advice, is unlikely to meet the minimum requirement even though they regularly do contract work. Some parents do not know if taking leave during the school summer holidays will exclude them from the scheme. One parent and freelancer has been asked to work for free to make up the hours.The association said: ‘This rule is a blunt instrument for removing ghosts from the rota, those being forced to leave were not the intended target of this measure. We hope the LAA will recognise that there is a risk of unlawful discrimination.’Following unanimous representations by the Law Society and practitioner groups for Crown court advocacy to count towards contract work, the Legal Aid Agency has agreed to set up a working group to review the 14-hour requirement.
INTRO: Almost half the new sleepers being installed on Railtrack’s network could soon be steel. Richard Hope reports on a quiet revolution driven by major savings in materials handling and the volume of new ballast neededRAILTRACK IS currently installing around 600000 sleepers annually on its network, which totals 32000 track-km. That number is certain to increase. A major project starting this year will see 460track-km completely renewed over two years on the West Coast Main Line between London and Crewe to permit 200 km/h running from May 2002, and 225 km/h from May 2005. This task alone will require 700000 concrete sleepers. It will also see the first significant quantity of 60 kg/m rail laid by Railtrack, marking a switch away from the 56 kg/m rail that British Rail adopted as standard in the 1960s.Meanwhile, out of the limelight on secondary routes another quiet revolution has been taking place almost unnoticed: steel sleepers instead of concrete are increasingly being used when relaying takes place. From being an oddity subject to occasional trials on the national network prior to the 1980s, sales to British Rail and then Railtrack have increased tenfold in the 1990s (Fig 1).Steel sleepers have been around for a long time. Their use is traditionally associated with light axleload lines in tropical zones such as Africa and South America, where timber sleepers may be subject to attack by termites. The absence of local timber is another factor. The Hedjaz Railway, completed 90 years ago through treeless desert between Damascus and Medina, was laid entirely on steel sleepers. In Syria and Jordan, where many remain in use, they have suffered little corrosion in the dry atmosphere.At the other end of the scale, steel has been used on heavy haul lines in Western Australia and North America, with nominal axleloads ranging up to 35 tonnes – and even 40 tonnes when the effect of variable loading is taken into account.Experience has been mixed, especially on curves when earlier designs suffered from low resistance to lateral forces, allowing the track to move. Lugs pressed out of the sleeper to hold the rail to gauge proved to be a point of weakness, again in curves where lateral forces are highest. This was overcome by using welded lugs.In Europe, the use of steel sleepers is widespread, especially on secondary lines and industrial track, but overall they are far outnumbered by wood and concrete. Nonetheless, Corus Rail (formerly the division of British Steel rolling rail at Workington in the north of England) has supplied 20000 annually to Switzerland for some years.Design from first principlesIn Britain, the Great Western Railway started using steel sleepers in the 1930s, but they were not available during the Second World War. BR later adopted concrete as standard, but steel was used for a trial length of nearly 3 km on the Hope Valley route between Sheffield and Manchester in the early 1980s. Once again, this suffered from poor lateral resistance, but the experience led to the design using computer modelling of a range of steel sleepers for main line use, as opposed to low speed industrial track.It was around this time that BR decided to create business sectors, and allocate responsibility for the infrastructure according to the prime user. Regional Railways was allocated lines carrying the lowest gross tonnage – not long after the BR Board had been warned by its civil engineers that certain lines would have to close if the track was not relayed. This had resulted from a period of very low investment in the 1970s.Pressure to economise intensified when government set tough subsidy reduction targets in the mid-1980s. BR Research and British Steel therefore embarked on a joint development programme in the belief that substantial economies could be achieved by using steel sleepers rather than continuing with concrete.Modern steel sleepers are rolled as a continuous profiled trough section in the same mill that produces rail, and then cut to length. This allows the flat top forming the rail seat to be thicker than the sides, and a substantial beaded edge is formed which provides bending strength. Apart from the different rollers required to produce this shape, the main difference to producing rail is that ordinary structural steel can be used because a sleeper does not experience the high stresses that occur at the wheel-rail contact patch.Using finite element analysis, the as-rolled sleeper cross-section was refined to distribute the metal more efficiently, providing extra strength and stiffness while retaining the low weight and ability to be stacked in bundles that provide one of steel’s great logistic advantages over concrete. The weight per linear metre of the Type 400 sleeper produced by Corus for Railtrack is 31 kg/m, which means that when shoulders for the Pandrol E-clip have been welded on, a sleeper weighing 80 kg can easily be handled by two men. It takes eight men using tongs to lift a concrete sleeper.As a separate operation, the sleeper ends are formed in a press to increase lateral stability. For main line use, it was found that the best lateral resistance was obtained by spade ends. The Type 400 sleeper trough is splayed, with the end bent down until it is about 50mm below the beaded edges of the trough. When this sleeper is placed on a levelled ballast bed, it sits initially on the spade ends, but the passage of ballast trains soon forces the spades and beads into the ballast, partially filling the ’pod’ formed by the inverted trough and spade ends. The pod is then filled by tamping.Insulated fastenings well testedOne reason why civil (and signal) engineers have traditionally viewed steel sleepers with suspicion has been a fear that fretting would destroy the pad or plastic inserts that insulate the rail from the fastening and sleeper, causing track circuits to fail.The presumption that concrete has insulating properties that steel obviously does not is challenged by David Ventry, Railtrack’s Head of Track Asset Management. ’The reinforcing bars make concrete just as good a conductor for practical purposes’, he insists. ’We are looking to improve the insulation further, driven by the signal engineers, but the fact is we have now had steel sleepers in track circuited routes for many years without experiencing problems.’Corus Rail’s Project Manager for steel sleepers, Dave Farrington, points out that last December Railtrack received the millionth Type 400 sleeper to be delivered since production for BR commenced in 1987, ’so there has been plenty of experience.’ In BR days they were mainly installed by Regional Railways in northwest England. Ventry says that after Railtrack took over in April 1994, the use of steel spread to freight and inter-city routes.By far the biggest single relaying job to be completed in steel took place last November during a four-week blockade of the Settle & Carlisle line. For many years, the threat of closure hung over this hilly main line route to Scotland, which was seen by BR as redundant after electrification of the parallel West Coast Main Line was completed in 1974. The track was allowed to deteriorate, and when freight began to be routed this way after privatisation, derailments led to severe speed restrictions that crippled line capacity.Some 24 km of track was relayed by Railtrack’s contractor First Engineering during the S&C blockade, using 36400 steel sleepers. Around 100000 tonnes of new ballast was required for the whole job, including sections of track that were just reballasted, with about 20000 tonnes placed in the resleepered sections. Drainage works brought the total cost to £18·2m.Major savingsThe S&C project illustrated one of the ways in which savings can be made by using steel sleepers, even though they cost £35 compared to £30 for concrete. Their light weight means they can be dropped in bundles at the lineside and placed manually on the ballast bed instead of being brought in as part of a mechanised relaying process.But the biggest economy from using steel lies in a drastically reduced requirement for new ballast. Unfortunately, this feature could not be exploited on the S&C because much of the line was ballasted with ash; this had to be excavated and removed so that fresh bottom ballast could be placed.Ventry gained much personal experience of steel sleepers in BR days when he was Area Civil Engineer based in Manchester, and he gives two reasons why ballast is saved under normal conditions.First, the ’underside’ of a steel sleeper is effectively the top of the pod. This is the level at which most of the vertical load is transmitted to the ballast, and starts to spread out in a cone before reaching the weaker formation material. The sleeper depth (ignoring the deeper end spades) is typically less than 100mm, only half the 200mm depth of an equivalent concrete sleeper. Railtrack’s current standards provide for 50mm less bottom ballast under steel sleepers compared to concrete or wood. Add this difference to the reduced sleeper depth, saving about 100mm of top ballast, and the total depth requirement becomes 150mm less for any given track standard.Secondly, steel sleepers are more tolerant of poor ballast quality than concrete. ’In the majority of situations’, says Ventry, ’we do not need to reballast before the steel sleepers are put down. Only if the existing ballast is wet and severely fouled – particularly with clay – would we dig it out.’ The procedure is that after the old rails and sleepers have been removed, the existing ballast is scarified to level it out and remove the old sleeper pits. New steel sleepers are then placed by hand, the new continuously welded rails slewed into position on their seats and clipped down, and top ballast distributed. After the track has settled under a few trains, it is tamped to fill the pods and bring it to level. Further tamping will take place after a few weeks.Ventry notes the importance of getting the alignment right when steel sleepers are put in place because the spade ends make it more difficult to slew them during tamping than would be the case with flat-bottomed sleepers. Otherwise, there is no particular problem about tamping them, although the stoneblowers acquired by Railtrack cannot be used.Corus puts the total saving in ballast and handling costs (including disposal or cleaning of recovered material) at £37000/km, which is £24 per sleeper, based on the Type 400 and E-clip as currently used by Railtrack. Ventry believes the saving is much higher, putting the total cost of track replacement with steel at £275000/km compared with £470000/km for concrete, a remarkable 41% reduction.Higher axleloadsRailtrack has now approved the Type 500 sleeper developed by Corus, which uses Pandrol’s Fastclip in place of the E-clip. These have performed well for over a year at the initial site in East Anglia.The main advantage stems from that fact that clips, pads and insulators are installed in the factory where the sleeper is assembled and are not lying around loose at the relaying site. The clip is secured or released with a tool, but the insulating components remain captive.Another change is the use of Huck bolts to secure the cast iron housing carrying the Fastclip to the sleeper. Handling pads and clips is labour-intensive, and Corus suggests a further saving of £6000/km in relaying costs with Fastclip. Ventry says this saving is ’not yet visible to me’ because the saving accrues in the first instance to the relaying contractor. Corus is developing Type 600 sleepers for use on high speed and heavy haul lines, and this is certainly of interest to Ventry. But Railtrack is also likely to extend the range of the 400 and 500 as confidence is gained. ’At the moment’, he says, ’the upper limit of our applications is around 10 million gross tonnes a year, but we have relatively few heavily-used routes in our network.’A 1·6 km stretch of Type 400 sleepers has been in service since 1997 at Quintinshill on the West Coast Main Line north of Carlisle, where the line speed is 177 km/h. However, there is currently no intention to use steel during the WCML upgrade currently in progress. Nevertheless, the potential is there with the Type 600 and Fastclip. Ventry ’wouldn’t argue against putting the 600 in higher speed lines, though not between London and Rugby’ (the most intensively used part of the WCML). He thinks the Type 600 is more likely to be adopted to meet the aspirations of English Welsh & Scottish Railway for 30 tonne axleloads. ’Steel sleepers have their uses, but they are not always going to be the optimum solution.’ They will not be used in 750V DC third-rail territory, for instance. Corus accepts that steel may not be regarded as suitable in corrosive situations, such as close to the sea. However, Ventry points to a stretch of track laid at Harrington, just south of Workington, where the track is drenched in salt spray during rough weather. He does not consider that corrosion has been excessive here.Finally, there is the issue of competition. Ventry says Corus cannot expect to be Railtrack’s sole supplier because ’it is more healthy to keep the market open and more competitive. We have already approved an American design of steel sleeper, but it’s a question of getting them at the right price. However, we do intend to buy some in order to evaluate them.’CAPTION: Railtrack has been evaluating Type 400 steel sleepers on a 1·6 km stretch of the West Coast Main Line at Quintinshill, north of Carlisle, since 1997CAPTION: Fig 1. Sales of steel sleepers by Corus Rail to British customers, predominantly BR and Railtrack, have increased tenfold in the last decadeCAPTION: Corus Rail has recently developed the Type 500 steel sleeper, which is designed to use Pandrol Fastclip rail fastenings; these sleepers are delivered complete with captive insulators CAPTION: Major advantages claimed for steel sleepers are the ability to store and transport large volumes in stacks, and to drop bundles by the lineside for manual laying CAPTION: First Engineering used 36 400 steel sleepers to relay 24 track-km of the Settle & Carlisle line during a four-week blockade last NovemberCAPTION: The West Coast Main Line test section at Quintinshill is heavily used by Virgin West Coast and Virgin CrossCountry inter-city services at speeds up to 177 km/hSummary in French, German and SpanishSteel sleepers invade concrete territoryRailtrack expects to buy more than 200000 steel sleepers this year for use on secondary routes, and the total could rise to the point where almost half of the new sleepers being laid are steel. For more than 30 years, virtually all track renewed by British Rail has been 56 kg/m rail on concrete sleepers. Railtrack is now satisfied that careful research leading to improved designs has overcome most of the drawbacks traditionally associated with steel, such as poor lateral stability. Richard Hope reports on a quiet revolution driven by major savings in materials handling and the volume of new ballast needed.Les traverses en acier envahissent le territoire du bétonCette année, Railtrack envisage d’acquérir plus de 200000 traverses en acier qui seront posées sur des lignes secondaires; ce choix pourrait conduire à un point tel que près de la moitié des traverses neuves posées seront des traverses en acier. Au cours des 30 dernières années, pratiquement toutes les voies renouvelées par British Rail l’ont été avec des rails de 56 kg/m posés sur traverses en béton. Railtrack se satisfait désormais des recherches poussées qui ont conduit à la conception améliorée de traverses métalliques ne présentant pas les défauts associés d’ordinaire à l’acier, comme la mauvaise stabilité latérale. Richard Hope rend compte d’une révolution tranquille menée à la faveur d’économies importantes dans la manutention des matériaux et dans le volume des besoins en ballast neufStahlschwellen erobern Beton-TerritoriumRailtrack plant, dieses Jahr über 200000 Stahlschwellen für Nebenstrecken zu beschaffen, und es k
Guyana’s ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) on Monday said it is committed to easing racial tension in the country and appealed to all citizens to do everything possible to deal with race conflict in Guyana.He said race conflict is a very important issue not only for his new government but for all Guyanese collectively.“The government though has a responsibility of charting policies and programmes that reflect the needs and aspirations of all the people of our country,” he said, adding that in terms of public policy and programming, it is essential that they are designed “for all the people of our country, and that’s a great responsibility of the government.“And that is what you will see reflected in the way we craft our policy,” Ali told reporters as he responded to suggestions that the country has entered into a new phase of racial tension given the electoral victory of his Indo-based political party over the Afro-Guyanese dominated opposition party.But he said the traditional media had a role to play in ensuring racial harmony while being critical of social media in that regard.“How we capture a headline can be a difference in how people react,” he said having received more than a thousand Facebook postings sent to him following the brutal murders of two young men over the last weekend.Police have since said three people are assisting their investigations and former president David Granger, on a visit to the families of the two men on Monday, acknowledged that “for the last five years we struggled to build social cohesion, struggle to treat everybody equal.“Nothing like this happened for five years and now barely a month and a half ….all lives matter and we must make sure we can protect ourselves and our communities. What you all are doing here is the correct response to crime and the government must protect all citizens, whoever they are, wherever they are,” he added.But Ali said some of the Facebook postings came from people “whom I would have great respect for, for their intellect, their level of education.“But their posting is not only damaging and insensitive. But their posting borders on criminality itself and as your President, I want to say we have to address these issues frontally. We have to not only monitor, but we have to take strong action on social media for some of the hateful posts and speeches that are being pursued on social media”.Ali reiterated that some of the assumptions made on those social media posts were “damaging and have serious implications” and that addressing race relations “requires a level of maturity from every stakeholder.“It requires some level of responsibility from every stakeholder. So yes, as a government we will address the issue through our policies and programmes,” he said, adding that the Youth Advisory Council will have a major component of having to work on race relations “to create a new culture, a new environment, a new sense of purpose to go out there in at risk communities and to develop a framework of action that the government could pursue”.Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, blamed the last administration for festering the race issue saying that “a lot of unhealthy extreme statements’ were being made by many individuals.He said the ones who have done the least for race relations and “who may have had a deliberate campaign to exacerbate race relations they continue with this now out of government.“Some of them have the least credibility, they would not bat an eyelid to take away GUY$600 million from the pensioners, pensioners of every race, every colour,” Jagdeo said, noting that the policies of the new government were aimed at providing for all members of the society.“Clearly it is the policy that matters when they took away the vehicle or stop importing vehicles over eight years old, do you think it affected persons of one race, it affected all Guyanese. They only care now to stir up trouble and so yes we do have issues…but we have to keep working at it and keeping the focus of what is important to our people,” Jagdeo added.CMC
13 Views no discussions Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Portsmouth Beach Hotel certified as “True Beachfront Hotel” by: – October 3, 2013 Share View from the Portsmouth Beach HotelPortsmouth Beach Hotel has been certified as ‘true beachfront’ by The Beach Front Club a new global authority on beachfront hotels, and drawn in detail never seen before on the maps of The Beachfront Club.Only hotels that meet very strict criteria – no roads of traffic between the rooms and the water – are certified, thus allowing beach-lovers around the world to quickly find all true beachfront hotels, without having to worry about being fooled by misleading advertising from those not really on the beach.The Beachfront Club has over 2000 interactive maps which plot the size, shape and location of every hotel found on every beach in the world. The site is set to become a global authority on true beachfront hotels, offering beach-lovers access to where to stay and revealing the real truth about the world’s beachfronts.
Share Donella Riviere was officially sashed Miss Scotia Bank by Kaisa JohnTwo of the seven Miss Dominica 2014 contestants have been officially sashed.Miss Scotia Bank Donella Riviere and Miss Dominica National Petroleum Company (DNPC) Tourence Dorsette were officially sashed at the Dominica Festivals Committee’s weekly press conference on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.“Miss Riviere’s drive and talent truly impressed us,” Scotia Bank’s representative Kasia John said.“We know that the road to the throne is not an easy one and we want to encourage her to work hard as success can only come through perseverance,” Miss John added. Miss Riviere, in expressing gratitude to Scotia Bank for sponsoring her, promised to not disappoint them as she knows “what it takes to be Miss Dominica”.“I am indeed honored to be sponsored by such a reputable financial organization…I know what it takes to be on stage because I am no stranger to the stage, I will not let you down,” Miss Riviere said. Tourence Dorsette was officially sashed Miss Dominica National Petroleum Company (DNPC) by Roxanne ChristianMeanwhile, Marah St. Rose of the Dominica National Petroleum Company said they are proud to partner with the DFC in sponsoring a contestant, thereby playing its part in support of Dominica’s Carnival. “We are happy to provide full sponsorship to a beautiful, humble and confident young lady who we know will do us proud,” Mrs St Rose said.“I am so honored and privileged to be sponsored by the Dominica National Petroleum Company LTD,” Miss Dorsette said. “I can assure you Dominicans that I will make this company proud as I represent in the Miss Dominica pageant 2014”.Meanwhile, Carnival promoter Val Cuffy called on other businesses to partner with the DFC in sponsoring Mas Dominik 2014 as there is one young lady who has not yet secured sponsorship.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! Share Tweet 392 Views 4 comments Share EntertainmentLocalNews Two Carnival queen contestants officially sashed by: – January 29, 2014
Tweet Share Sharing is caring! 135 Views no discussions Share Share BusinessLocalNews Proposed act to create more powerful central bank by: Dominica Vibes News – May 1, 2015 Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (file photo)Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit says a proposed banking act for member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) will give the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) greater control over banks in the public interest.The Prime Minister was delivering the opening statement of pre-budget consultation with private sector stakeholders in the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday 29 April 2015. Significant responsibilities, such as the power to grant banking licenses, revoke such licenses and approve mergers, currently held by finance ministers of the ECCU, are being placed in the hands of the central bank through the proposed legislation. “A provision to set conditions for the grant or denial of a license is introduced. The activities that can be carried out by a licensed financial institution are now stated. Provision is made for the condition of a license. The requirement for the central bank to keep a register of licensed financial institutions is also introduced,” PM Skerrit informed.Provisions are also in place to control a financial institution’s investment in real property while a new provision protects bank officials from legal action when they step in to restructure a troubled bank. Mr Skerrit, who met with the banker’s association on Monday 27 April, said an asset management corporation will be established to deal with the bad assets of banks which need to be restructured. The prime minister also explained that bank officials and its significant shareholders can be held accountable for the institution’s demise under the draft legislation. He said, “The central bank will have the authority to approve new premises of a financial institution. Previously…the [Finance] minister, after consultation with the central bank. The level of ownership or control of financial institutions is specified”.“A provision is introduced for the requirements for license to financial holding companies, including licensing and restrictions on activities. The central bank will be able to request that a financial institution increase or maintain additional capital, where deemed necessary,” he added. According to Mr Skerrit, a financial institution must send reports to the central bank within three months under the draft legislation and it is created as a replacement to the current Banking Act of 2005. Credit unions are among financial institutions recognized under the Act.
Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Due to concerns about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Farmington Hills Beautification Commission has cancelled its annual Spring Plant and Seed Swap.The event had been scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at Heritage Park.A Fall Plant and Seed Swap has tentatively been scheduled for mid-September. Information will be posted on the city’s Facebook page and at fhgov.com.For more information, call Charmaine Kettler-Schmult in the Community Development Office, 248-871-2543. Reported by