A director of the former state-owned Barbados National Bank (BNB) is not only suggesting that local shareholders sell their shares in Republic Bank (Barbados) Ltd but that ownership of the bank be kept out of Government’s hands. Professor of Economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, Michael Howard, said he supported the privatization of BNB in 2003 and felt there should not be any attempt to return it to state ownership. “Barbadians and the Barbadian Government should be willing to sell the remainder of their shares to Republic Bank,” he told the WEEKEND NATION, adding that a decision should not be based on “nationalistic or jingoistic considerations”. “A bank’s ability to survive in a highly competitive environment rests, not on national ownership, but on the efficient management of risks. The Barbadian experience shows that commercial banking is best left to the free market.