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EFE – Leaders of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) member-states have agreed to establish a Committee of Finance Ministers to strengthen the region’s financial services sector.
“Because in many cases our indigenous banks cannot provide a high level of reward, correspondent banks (in North America and Europe) are closing their relationships with them because of the claim that the Caribbean is a high-risk area for financial services,” the current CARICOM chairman, Bahamian Prime Minister Christie said in a statement released Monday.
CARICOM said the Committee will work with the Caribbean Association of Banks on a plan to deal with the region’s image.
“The Caribbean Association of Banks have assets in excess of $30 billion. They are a very important part of the region’s payment system. So that, if they’re unable to settle their transactions in the United States, Canada and Britain, that clearly has serious implications,” Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.
He said CARICOM will have to open a dialogue with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and international banks on behalf of the region’s financial services industry.