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Originally published Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 4:01 PM

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St Vincent depositors urged not to panic

The financial regulator of St. Vincent & the Grenadines is urging depositors not to panic and close accounts at a 72-year-old building and loan association that authorities took control of last week.

The Associated Press

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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent —

The financial regulator of St. Vincent & the Grenadines is urging depositors not to panic and close accounts at a 72-year-old building and loan association that authorities took control of last week.

The Financial Services Authority assumed management of the Caribbean islands' leading provider of local home loans Friday. On Thursday, regulators appealed for "calm and reasoned judgment" to avoid a run on the St. Vincent Building & Loan by jittery investors.

Officials say their top goal in taking over the local institution is to protect the interests of depositors and safeguard its financial stability.

Authority chairman Leon Snagg says regulators want to assure depositors that the loan association is in "good and competent hands." He says the takeover is temporary.

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