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Aubyn Hill's company to pay $46M

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2015 | 12:00 AMBarbara Gayle

The Aubyn Hill-led NationGrowth Microfinance Limited has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $46 million to the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

Supreme Court Judge Bryan Sykes made the order last week for NationGrowth to repay the money with interest at the daily rate of $14, 223 from August 16, 2014 to the date of payment.

According to Sykes, Hill's company should pay because its defence to the lawsuit filed by the DBJ to recover the money has no real prospect of success.

Michael Hylton, QC, and Melissa McLeod, who represented DBJ had applied for a summary judgment against NationGrowth on the basis that the defence filed by NationGrowth could not succeed.


DBJ-NationGrowth agreement


Hill had stated in court documents that based on the terms of the agreement, any money owed to DBJ should be paid by the final borrowers and not his company.

In September 2009, the DBJ and NationGrowth entered into an agreement that provided for the bank to lend money to Hill's company for the purpose of on-lending to third parties.

The DBJ contended that in breach of the terms of the agreement, letter of commitment, and promissory notes, NationGrowth failed to make payments on the due dates.

But lawyers representing Hill claimed that DBJ and NationGrowth embarked upon a venture to finance the microfinancial sector as part of a Government of Jamaica initiative to provide loans to small farmers and middle-income businesses.

According to Hill's lawyers, NationGrowth had difficulty collecting from the borrowers whose projects had failed.