The Government says it will be taking its call to put an end to the de-risking issue at a Corresponding Banking Relations (CBR) conference slated for Washington DC, later this year.
The first conference on the issues confronting the banking system in the Caribbean was hosted by Prime Minister Gaston Browne in Antigua last year, where high level representatives from several Caribbean sectors and from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met to offer possible solutions to the issue.
According to Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda Sir Rodney Williams, major world banks opted out of the conference held in Antigua despite being invited and as such, the government will be going to them. He was delivering the 2017 Throne Speech when he made the comment.
“Another de-risking is to be held in Washington this year and my government intends to participate fully and to trumpet the calls of small jurisdictions that stands in mortal danger. I f our banks loose their corresponding relations in the USA, it will wreck our economy by impeding our ability to conduct financial transactions across boarders,” he said.
A correspondent bank is a financial institution that provides services on behalf of another financial institution. Correspondent banks are used by banks in one country to conduct business in a foreign country.
In recent times indigenous regional banks have been challenged in obtaining corresponding banking relationships with international financial institutions, particularly in Europe and the United States, who have signaled to clients banks in the region their unwillingness to continue carrying their business.
This initiative known as “De-Risking” is considered a major threat to international financial services including remittance transfers, a key component of several regional economies.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne currently chairs a Caricom advocacy group that seeks to tackle the threat of the removal of CBR between foreign banks and regional banks.