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Loss of correspondent banking will pose serious threats to region– Guyana PM

Loss of correspondent banking will pose serious threats to region– Guyana PM

Prime Minister (PM), Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips stated on Wednesday that the loss of correspondent banking, increase of the unbanked and disruption of the flow of remittance will pose serious threats to the economic and social stability of the Caribbean.
He made the statement while addressing a Caribbean Financial Access roundtable discussion on Wednesday in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The prime minister joined several the Caribbean Community CARICOM leaders at the meeting and they all voted unanimously to launch an annual US-Caribbean Banking Forum roundtable meeting.

“Madam Chair, the loss of correspondent banking and the increase of the unbanked is a security challenge to the Caribbean, and I’m happy that we’re discussing this and we have arrived at a position where we will have this annual roundtable to deal with the challenges; it will be an opportunity for us to share ideas and cooperate as we move forward,” he said.

The prime minister added that Guyana is particularly interested in increasing correspondent banking, more so because the oil and gas economy will “propel us towards becoming an international financial centre.”

Correspondent banking facilitates country-to-country services and acts as an intermediary to facilitate wire transfers, conduct business transactions, accept deposits and gather documents on behalf of other banks.

Guyana’s participation in the one-day roundtable discussion on de-risking and correspondent banking came at the request of Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley.

In a missive to President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Mottley indicated the importance of Guyana’s participation.

“This encounter will provide the ideal opportunity for us to engage with major players in the financial services industry in order to find solutions for these intractable issues.”

She added that Guyana’s “presence will definitely be very instrumental and important in addressing the myriad of problems associated with these issues.”

Prime Minister Phillips met with Prime Minister Mottley and Chairwoman of the US House Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Tuesday.

He was also expected to take part in a meeting with the CARICOM Heads of Government and a Special US Envoy led by US State representative Waters on Wednesday evening.

The other regional leaders at the event included: President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi; Prime Ministers Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago; John Antonio Briceño of Belize; Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica; Keith Mitchell of Grenada; and Philip Pierre of St. Lucia, and Premier of the Cayman Islands, Wayne Panton along with ministerial representatives from Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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