Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Regional / International » CARICOM Leaders Seek Audience with Senior U.S. Representative in Financial Services to Discuss De-risking Impacts
Apr 25, 2022

CARICOM Leaders Seek Audience with Senior U.S. Representative in Financial Services to Discuss De-risking Impacts

John Briceño

CARICOM countries are contemplating alternatives they can use in light of the shrinking number of banking services that are now available with their U.S. counterparts. It began to affect many banks in the region around 2016, when American banks started to tighten controls with smaller banks for the sake of weeding out potentially risky users. “De-risking” as the measure is known, has essentially upended the services that smaller countries, Belize included, relied on for global financing. Prime Minister John Briceño told reporters over the weekend that as Pro Tempore Chair of CARICOM, he raised concern over the matter when he presided over the discussions last month.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“For a citizen to open a bank account, it takes them weeks, sometimes months. Yet you could walk into a U.S. Bank: Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and in thirty minutes you could open your account and walk out with a credit card. And we feel that that’s certainly not fair for us in the Caribbean and Central America. All of us are having this problem. The issue of corresponding banking, the relationship that we’ve had with some of these banks for decades have been abruptly cut. Belize has lost thirty-three percent of the corresponding banking relationships that we had with different banks in the United States. Even the Central Bank has lost their one. Presently our Central Bank has a banking relation with Crown Agents and Crown Agents are listed probably around four thousand, two hundred and something in the world, in the number of banks. And the I.M.F. and the other IFIs have pointed out to us, “Why is it that you’re banking with crown agents?” We’re telling them that we have no option; we wish we could do. What has been done now, Mia Mottley is the Chair for Financial Services for the Caribbean and through her effort and mine as the chairman, we managed to get representative, Maxine Waters, who is the Chair for the House of Representatives in the United States for financial services, which include banking services. For the first time we had U.S. representatives and one as powerful as Maxine Waters to come to us to hear what are our issues. So several of us Ministers – Heads of Government – and myself as the Pro Temp Chairman of CARICOM went and spoke to her and several other banking officials were there, for instance, a senior vice president for Wells Fargo, who is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, who could appreciate what we’re going through.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed