Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016. 2:00 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: CARICOM leaders, including Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, met with heads of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to discuss concerns over “de-risking”.
Browne also met with heads of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), which also has a vested interest in addressing de-risking concerns.
The purpose of the meeting was to deepen partnerships across the affected territories in order to strengthen efforts to address the withdrawal of correspondent banking services from large international financial institutions.
“De-risking of correspondent banking services is an existential threat facing the Caribbean region which has the potential to decimate our living standards,” Browne said following the meeting in St John’s, Antigua.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness also made recent comments on the issue in Kingston, describing the matter as a “clear and present danger”.
The issue garnered interest from CARICOM at its 27th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in Belize in February. At that session, a team, led by the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, was appointed to lobby policymakers in the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom on the threat to Caribbean economies from the withdrawal of correspondent banking services. The issue was also heavily discussed at the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Georgetown, Guyana in July.
As part of its contribution, JNBS, which has been among institutions in Jamaica leading advocacy efforts to address the emerging correspondent banking problems, is developing a website to increase awareness about the emerging issue, while the CDB will continue to work with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force to build capacity of member countries.
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