Economy / General / Weekend News

Caribbean coming together to discuss future of financial sector

By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter

Key figures in respective banking, financial and offshore sectors from across the Caribbean and Central America are scheduled to meet this week in Curacao for the first of two gatherings to discuss the obstacles facing the financial sectors in the region and solutions to reduce vulnerabilities.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in conjunction with Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) will host a workshop on Caribbean Banking and the Caribbean International Financial Services Sector in Curacao, from September 30th to October 1st. The workshop will discuss in detail, the challenges facing the Caribbean Basin and acts as a precursor to the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), scheduled to take place in Bridgetown, Barbados, late in October 2015.

Heavyweights in the region’s institutions, including central bank governors and private sector financial institutions to will be in attendance to discuss three key topics: correspondent banking, remittances and the offshore industry. Many countries in the region, including Belize have already started feeling the effects of increased regulations in regards to correspondent banking and the offshore financial industry.

In view of the significant impact to regional economies of de-risking and regulatory changes, it is hoped the group will identify possible solutions for regional institutions and economies, and generate specific recommendations for action. The ultimate aim of the workshop will be the submission of a white paper for consideration to be addressed at the OECD’s Global Forum in October.

“Caribbean financial institutions find themselves increasingly vulnerable to regulatory changes and new trends that threaten their very existence. Once seen as a growth industry for regional economies seeking to diversify from the dependency of the non-competitive agriculture base or the tourism-dependent economies; today the industry (traditional and offshore) is facing an ever increasing array of obstacles in this critical growth industry,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, CEDA executive director.

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