Nigel Baptiste, president and chief executive officer of Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL), based in Port of Spain, said yesterday that while the size of his financial institution has protected it from the direct negative consequences of correspondent bank de-risking, it is not immune to its impact.
“Throughout the Caribbean, our clients and my colleagues in the various countries lament the adverse effect of the loss or lack of financial access on the conduct of regular daily transactions,” he stated at a roundtable discussion on De-Risking and Correspondent Banking which was co-chaired by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the head of the United States House Committee on Financial Services.
The event was attended by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley several Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders and Baptiste, whose RHFL has interests throughout the region, said even where financial institutions “such as ourselves have not lost access with our correspondent banks, we have had to self-regulate and in so doing restrict access to our network by many individuals most of whom tend to fall into the marginalised communities in our society.
“This is unfortunate, but necessary because financial institutions in the Caribbean are presented with no choice. We either de-risk our clients or be de-risk ourselves,” Baptiste said.
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