Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne on Thursday took the floor during the first plenary session of the 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government to address his colleagues on the issue of correspondent banking and its effects on CARICOM member states.
The issue of correspondent banking was high on the agenda of CARICOM leaders, and PM Browne drew a clear picture of the existential threat posed to the economies of the member states by this phenomenon.
In laying out his analysis, PM Browne reported on the Stakeholders Conference on Correspondent Banking that he had convened as chairman of the CARICOM Task Force on Correspondent Banking in Antigua in October 2016.
The prime minister called for an intensification of lobbying efforts on behalf of CARICOM member states that would seek to influence banks, regulatory authorities and policy-makers in certain Western countries. Mr. Browne was supported by his colleagues in his call, and at the end of his presentation he was commended by the meeting for his leadership on the issue.
‘There is no doubt that this is an existential threat that could, if we are not careful, cut us off from the international payments system,’ PM Browne said. ‘And that could drive a stake through the heart of our economies.’
The Meeting concluded its deliberations on the correspondent banking matter by taking a series of decisions designed to reverse the policy and mitigate its effects.