Saint Lucia, Wednesday 29 March 2023- Thursday 16 March concluded the 2023 FIBA AML Conference which was hosted at the Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida, USA. The last of the conference was the Annual Caribbean Financial Roundtable where Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Wendy Delmar represented the Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. Ms. Delmar shared that the roundtable ended on a positive note.
This year’s Roundtable featured industry leaders and speakers from US and Caribbean financial institutions including banks, fintech companies and crypto companies. The roundtable primarily addressed regulatory due diligence expectations in the BSA/AML/OFAC compliance atmosphere. Ms. Delmar contributed to two panel discussions comprised of experts on the topics of “Regulatory Updates and Advocacy Initiatives” and “Payments and Trade- Fintech and Other Disruptive/Innovative Solutions”.
Ms. Delmar contended that Caribbean Banks are heavily marginalised via more stringent enforcements of regulations while North American financial institutions are dealt milder punishments for infringements of regulations. Amid the loss of several correspondent banks within the region and recognising this as a global challenge, the Caribbean Round Table has redefined its focus to the impact suffered by all nations. While the Caribbean serves as a bridge to the US market, concerns of questionable activity create significant reputational damage throughout the Caribbean and adversely affect legitimate businesses.
Speaking about the high volume of de-risking and the economic upheaval caused in the emerging market banking sector, Ms. Wendy Delmar, said: “Over the years, our people have suffered from the devastating effects of de-risking. Several of our members have lost the opportunity to facilitate intra/inter regional and international payments. All the while, the perception of being high risk continues to plague many discussions. We are pleased that we have been afforded many opportunities to partner with FIBA, Atlantic Council and a host of other organisation to bring awareness to the issue, as well as to have gotten some traction with reviews of legislation at the US Congressional level. While there have been some small wins in that we have seen some reputable US banks expressing interest in the region, we are still not satisfied with the level of re-engagement or re-onboarding currently taking place. We cannot force banks to do business in the region, but we cannot continue to be sidelined. We encourage our members to maintain a focus on “doing it right” the first time, not simply to check boxes but to safeguard our businesses, clients, and economies.”
Ms. Delmar continues to encourage CAB members to remain vigilant and encourages innovation to explore innovative solutions to the challenges of the present. In view of the growing importance to establish new opportunities for cross-border payments the CAB continues to dialogue with alternative service providers, several of whom will be positioned at the upcoming CEO & Directors Forum on June 9-10, 2023, in Miami. For more information and registration, visit the CAB website at http://cab-inc.com.