Caribbean Banking and the Caribbean International Financial Services Sector Comes Under Focus

 

Much needed focus will be brought to the Caribbean banking and financial services sector over the coming months with two important gatherings of the region’s most influential industry practitioners.

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 at the Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino in Curaçao, from September 30-October 1, 2015.   The workshop will discuss in detail, the regulatory 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, in late October 2015.

“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 to this critical growth industry,” expressed Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director of Caribbean Export who will deliver remarks on the opening morning of the workshop.

The Honourable Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development in Barbados, will also be in attendance together with a number of other influential leaders of the sector from the across the region, including central bank governors and private sector financial institutions to discuss three (3) key topics: correspondent banking, remittances and the offshore industry.  In view of the significant impact to regional economies of de-risking and regulatory changes, the workshop seeks to 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 upcoming OECD Global Forum.

Caribbean Export is currently leading the implementation of a multifaceted regional initiative aimed at supporting the sustainable development of the international financial services sector in CARIFORUM. To date, the Agency has provided support valued at some Bds$1.6M towards the development of the sector within the scope of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP). This support includes the facilitation of two conferences on international financial services, the establishment and operation of the Task Force for the Promotion and Protection of the Caribbean Financial Sector (TFP-CFS), and the commissioning of studies to support the implementation of priority actions such as the Caribbean International Financial Services Secretariat and the Caribbean Institute of Finance as agreed upon by CARIFORUM Ministers.