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Trinidad and Tobago citizens did US$1.2B in credit card transactions in 2018 compared to US$343M in 2010

By Shaliza Hassanali, Trinidad Guardian

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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Cit­i­zens have racked up US$1.205 bil­lion in cred­it card trans­ac­tions for 2018 which is now en­gag­ing the at­ten­tion of the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

This was re­vealed yes­ter­day by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert in re­sponse to a query from Op­po­si­tion MP Dr Fuad Khan about the amount US cur­ren­cy used for cred­it card pay­ments last year.

Im­bert said com­pared to the pre­vi­ous years, cred­it card trans­ac­tions were far less.

In 2010, the cred­it card trans­ac­tions fig­ure was US$343 mil­lion com­pared to US$766 mil­lion in 2015.

In a fol­low-up ques­tion, Khan asked Im­bert why the pub­lic was faced with a short­age of for­eign ex­change to do day-to-day trans­ac­tions.

Im­bert said Khan’s ques­tion was spec­u­la­tive and asked him to rephrase.

Ca­roni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh in­ter­vened and asked Im­bert what had led to the cred­it card pay­ments now “en­gag­ing the Min­istry of Fi­nance in our reg­u­lar meet­ings with the Cen­tral Bank.”

Im­bert said the ini­tial re­sponse from was that more pur­chas­es are be­ing made on­line com­pared with tra­di­tion­al re­tail trans­ac­tions.

In a fol­low-up ques­tion, Gopeesingh asked Im­bert if this was due to the dif­fi­cul­ties be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by lo­cal busi­ness­es in ob­tain­ing for­eign ex­change.

Im­bert re­fused to spec­u­late, stat­ing it was a com­plex mat­ter.

“There is ab­solute­ly no doubt that there is a shift in cul­tur­al pat­terns in Trinidad and To­ba­go and a shift to on­line pur­chas­es which is hap­pen­ing all over the world,” he said.

As to the to­tal amount of US cur­ren­cy in­ject­ed in­to the lo­cal banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions last year, Im­bert said the Cen­tral Bank sold US$1.5 bil­lion to au­tho­rised deal­ers.

He said net cur­ren­cy as­sets in com­mer­cials banks at the end of the third quar­ter of 2018 stood at US$2.734 bil­lion.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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