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Apr 17, 2015

PM Barrow Expresses Concern on U.S. and European Banking Relations

Dean Barrow

It hasn’t happened just yet, but the Caribbean and Central American regions are keenly aware that there is some intention by large European and US banks to end relations with small domestic banks in countries like Belize. The threat is serious enough that the matter was raised as a priority on the agenda at the last CARICOM Heads of government Meeting in Nassau, Bahamas. And again, it was a priority at the SICA meeting in Panama last week, where Prime Minister Dean Barrow brought it to the attention of US President Barack Obama.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Obama, in responding to me, made clear that apart from the issue having already been flagged a day or two before in Jamaica, the President of Panama who was host of the Summit and who as host had a special one on one bilateral meeting with Obama…he had also raised the issue with Obama because what is happening is not anything confined to Belize or peculiar to Belize. The banks, the big banks in Europe and America are de-risking as you said because of all the compliance, the thicket of compliance regulations and the huge fines if something goes wrong. They don’t consider it worth the risk for whatever miniscule amounts they get in consequence of maintaining correspondent banking relationships with the domestic banks in our small jurisdictions. They don’t consider it worth the risk, that if indeed something catches the eye of the US regulators they can be fined in the billions of dollars. And so they are de-risking – the term that I used and that is currently employed. The President accepted that if followed through to its logical conclusion would completely throttle the economy of small countries. Like I said you can’t be there with all this mighty, noble, soaring rhetoric about prosperity and stability if you’re going to place us in a situation where our economies can’t survive. He undertook to do something about it.”

 

According to the PM, following that SICA meeting it was agreed that a follow-up letter would be forwarded to President Obama reminding him of that undertaking, and a committee would be formed to monitor the situation to see if indeed it has been addressed.

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3 Responses for “PM Barrow Expresses Concern on U.S. and European Banking Relations”

  1. MNHG says:

    TIME TO PAY BACK BARROW !
    EYES WERE ALWAYS WATCHING YOU, ALL THE MONEY LAUNDERING …ETC…ETC , TIME TO PAY BACK, YES EYES WERE WATCHING YOU.
    ALL THEM RICH CHINESE LIVING HAPPY IN BELIZE, SENDING MONEY TO CHINA, THEN GOING TO LIVE IN THE USA FROM BELIZE, THE WORLD WAS WATCHING YOU, BARROW.
    AND AFTER ALL , WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR BELIZEANS?
    STIFLE THEIR LITTLE BUSINESSES !!!

  2. Dom says:

    What the PM didn’t say is that the termination of some correspondent banking relationships in the region is due to poor regulations and inadequate laws that deter suspicious banking transactions.

    For example, how does $500,000 of government money get transferred to the incorrect beneficiary? How does a government pass laws to circumvent parliamentary oversight of government funds in the interest of expediency?

    Do not let this PM fool the people into thinking that Belize is being targeted due to the low profit margins and inherent risk of doing business in the country. Belize is being targeted due to poor stewardship of our financial system by the GOB.

  3. haha says:

    thats President Obama to you yacka$$…. Ole Dean the green machine… in lean of the bean

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