Saint Lucia, Friday 25 March, 2022: The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) Inc. has expressed satisfaction with the just-concluded FIBA AML Compliance Conference, which was held 28 February to 2 March at the Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida, USA. CAB Chairperson Mr. Dalton Lee and CEO Ms. Wendy Delmar profited the opportunity to engage with bankers, financial services professionals, regulators, and service providers from across the Americas, as well as officials of various US government regulatory agencies.
One of the key agenda items for CAB was the Caribbean Roundtable, with participation from organisations including but not limited to Republic Bank, Bank of Montserrat, Grenada Co-Operative Bank, the Atlantic Council, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and CitiBank. One of the points raised at the session was the importance of the Caribbean as the sixth largest trading partner for the USA. In addition, participants also deliberated the vexing issue of derisking, and the loss of correspondent banking relationships which remains a source of serious concern within the region. The CAB has been at the forefront of efforts to engage with regulators, policy makers and other identified strategic partners on the issue of derisking, and the organisation stands firm in its commitment to pursue robust advocacy on this subject.
Among the important topics addressed at the three-day conference were the emergence of cryptocurrency; human trafficking; developing a culture of compliance; the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the Caribbean and its financial services system; and correspondent banking “as a humanitarian good,” as posited by Ms. Delmar during her closing remarks at the Caribbean Roundtable. She contended that the numerous small island developing states of the Caribbean have a disproportionate dependence on these services to sustain business and enterprise, noting as well that one has to look no further than the tourism industry to appreciate the significant degree to which correspondent banking services play a vital role in the sustenance of livelihoods.
Said Ms. Delmar:
“In order to overcome these hurdles, we will continue to advocate for equitable access to international finance and trade activity via Correspondent Banking Relationships. Further, our banks and governmental agencies have to be more responsive and proactive in responding to the concerns of correspondent banks and regulators in jurisdictions like the USA. We need to effectively position ourselves leaving no room for assumptions on their part. Through our participation in conferences such as this we strive towards a positive change in the perception of the region’s banking and financial services sector.”
The CAB team also explored a number of areas that are ripe for growth, meeting with national and regional banking associations from Latin America, as well as regulators from the USA. Several of these subjects will be explored at a more granular level at the CAB CEO & Directors’ Forum on June 10 and 11, 2022. Look out for more details on event.