Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell (FILE)
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ST GEORGE’S − Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell took over the chairmanship of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union promising that his tenure will be one of “implementation for transformation” as efforts are made to tackle several sub-regional issues.
On Friday, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit handed over chairmanship during a ceremony which preceded the 91st Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
The Monetary Council is the highest decision-making authority for the ECCU.
According to Mitchell, during his tenure he will address certain issues including Fiscal and Debt Resilience; Dealing with the Threat of De-risking; Addressing Bank Fees and Charges; Establishing the Credit Bureau and FinTech Regulation and Supervision.
Concerning fiscal and debt resilience, Mitchell said that as part of building resilience in the ECCU, leaders have taken note of the bank’s strong advocacy for the enactment of fiscal resilience frameworks in member countries and the intention is for all ECCU members to enact similar legislation.
“Grenada is the first country in the ECCU to adopt fiscal responsibility legislation and establish an independent fiscal responsibility oversight committee. Therefore, we fully support this call,” he said while praising the effort by members to comply with the Monetary Council agreement that all member countries would table their Medium-Term Debt Management Strategies in their respective parliaments.
“It is encouraging to observe that all member countries have now completed their strategies and we look forward to them being tabled in parliament, during my tenure as Chairman,” he said.
With regards to dealing with the threat of de-risking, the Grenadian Prime Minister said that the potential loss of correspondent banking relations continues to pose a serious threat and the region must remain vigilant and relentless in its efforts to combat this existential threat.
Pointing to Bank Fees and Charges by commercial banks, Mitchell said that the matter of high bank fees and charges is one that concerns all citizens and all members of the Monetary Council.
“That said, we also understand that banks are facing rising compliance costs because of various international requirements for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism. We call on all banks and the ECCU Bankers Association to become more proactive in informing customers of these developments and helping them access no-cost or low-cost options, wherever possible.” (CMC)