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Caribbean leaders at UN warn of region’s ‘economic collapse’ under US, EU decision on banking

24 September 2016 – Given their size and limited choices for economic expansion, small island States like St Lucia have looked to the more advanced economies for innovative means of economic development, the tiny country’s Prime Minister told the United Nations today, among many speakers from the region who said they now find themselves being penalized as tax havens by the very architects of such strategies.

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In UN debate, Caribbean nations spotlight negative impacts of indebtedness, ‘de-risking’

23 September 2016 – Two Caribbean island nations took to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly today to highlight their vulnerabilities, including indebtedness and poor access to financing for development.

“Like many other countries, our path towards sustainable development has been hindered by years of low growth, crippling national debt and high unemployment, which have been exacerbated by our vulnerability to natural hazards and other exogenous shocks,” Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the Assembly’s annual debate.

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De-risking could halt regional economies, ECCB official warns

The deputy governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has painted a grim picture for the region if international banks continue the trend of de-risking.

Trevor Brathwaite said the measure will have multi-sectoral impact on regional economies, which could mean a stop to economic activity.

“If you want to take it to the extreme, you and I will not be able to shop in a supermarket because the supermarket will not be importing the stuff we like to buy,” he said. “You and I will not even be able to buy shoes and clothes … cars, tyres and parts.”

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Caricom to take new approach on de-risking

A new approach is being taken to address the threat of bank de-risking, according to the Chairman of the Committee of Caricom Finance Ministers on Correspondent Banking, Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Faced with costly new anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism regulations, many US banks are cutting ties with banks in the region, deeming their business unworthy of the cost of doing business. Without such relationships, cross border or cross currency transactions involving goods or services become impossible.

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Caribbean looks to international allies in de-risking crisis

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Attempts are continuing by CARICOM and individual member states to address the correspondent banking issue causing consternation in the banking community in the region.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley says the process which began some time ago, continues apace.

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