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Barbados banks under increased scrutiny


Barbados banks under increased scrutiny

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COMMERCIAL BANKS in Barbados have to answer to more than their shareholders and local regulators, and this is placing client accounts under heightened scrutiny and increased due diligence.

This was explained by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank managing director for retail, business and international banking, Mark St Hill, when he addressed the first Barbados International Business Association luncheon for 2015 at Hilton Barbados recently.

St Hill explained that correspondent banks, which are intermediary banks situated in large financial centres, and which facilitated local commercial banks conducting business in other markets, were bringing to bear their international regulatory standards on how banks in Barbados operated.

First Citizens Bank’s manager for legal and compliance Debbie Browne acknowledged that banks needed to communicate to their clients that enhanced due diligence was now the order of the day and she encouraged the Barbados Bankers Association to press for standardised anti-money laundering policies among its members.

Scotiabank, Eastern Caribbean, director of business support, Roger Archer, said that compliance was one thing that banks could not compete on and that when clients were considering banking fees, they needed to take into account the administrative costs, opportunity costs, and compliance costs associated with setting up and servicing accounts considered high risk.

Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited general manager, retail banking, Susan Torry, agreed, noting that all banks had basic costs, but those accounts subject to enhanced due diligence created a greater administrative burden, as they had to be monitored on a continuous basis. (PR)