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Caribbean Central Bank Takes Over 2 Anguilla Lenders

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank took control of two of Anguilla’s largest lenders after they exceeded limits on non-performing loans.

Commercial Bank Limited and National Bank of Anguilla Ltd will be under the full control of the ECCB for the next six months after the Caribbean nation’s economy “virtually collapsed,” the ECCB said in an e-mailed statement today.

The economy of Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory located about 100 miles east of the British Virgin Islands, contracted an average 5.5 percent from 2008 to last year, according to the ECCB. Both of the banks seized today were “under very close supervision” of the bank the past two years, ECCB Governor K. Dwight Venner said.

“The impact of the global crisis on the main pillars of the Anguillan economy, namely tourism and construction, has been marked,” Anguilla Governor Christina Scott said in a statement. “This has had a serious knock on effect on the entire banking sector, and in particular our indigenous banks.”

The banks continued to operate today and the ECCB said that it has “full support of the British Government in this operation.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at esabo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net; Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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