Money rules worry Caribbean
SOME INDIVIDUALS and businesses spurned by banks have been forced to fly suitcases stuffed with United States dollars across the Caribbean.
It may sound like something out of the movies but a top Caribbean banker based in Barbados said it was part of the fallout from de-risking – the controversial issue of mainly United States-based banks cutting off financial institutions in the region from access to their services because of fears that they could face billions of dollars in fines under anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) regulations.
The drastic action has resulted from commercial banks in Barbados and the region rejecting business because of laundering concerns.
“AML/CTF regulations have also been attributed to the physical movement of United States cash between countries in the Caribbean and the use of alternative, technology-based payment systems for international and inter-personal transactions,” said Ian De Souza, the CEO and managing director of Republic Bank Barbados and an executive member of the Caribbean Association of Banks, in confirming the cash movement across borders. (GE)
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