Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt, returns from Barbados this evening after taking part in the Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable. The Roundtable discussed critical issues regarding correspondent banking relationships, de-risking, anti-money laundering, and related banking issues.
“Challenges with correspondent banking relationships have hindered our efforts to further diversify our economy in Bermuda in areas such as FinTech and Gaming,” said Premier Burt. “It is critical that we continue to engage leaders in the United States and CARICOM to resolve these issues which unfairly target small island states.
“This meeting presented an excellent opportunity to discuss these and other important matters with key decision-makers while highlighting Bermuda’s leadership in combating money laundering.
“I am grateful to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Barbados Mia Mottley and United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters for putting together this financial summit to continue this valuable dialogue.”
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley outlined the five outcomes from the meeting, in the press conference following the discussions:
- The U.S. Congressional delegation agreed that this issue is of significant importance and deserves a congressional hearing.
- Agreed to annual U.S./Caribbean Banking Forum.
- Agreed to conduct a Feasibility Study as to whether or not to establish a Caribbean opened consortium bank in the United States that can provide correspondent banking relationships in the region.
- Agreed to a proposal to establish an examiner training academy in the United States to train state, local and federal examiners and foreign examiners, including those in the Caribbean.
- Agreed to incorporate access to correspondent banking relationships into aid and development relationships and see it as a critical part of the market infrastructure necessary for countries to succeed.
In addition to U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the U.S. delegation included several other senior persons from the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and other relevant House Committees.
Attendees from Bermuda included Ian Truran, the CEO of Clarien Bank, Ashley Kibblewhite the Director of Banking, Trust, Corporate Services and Investments [BTCSI] Department, Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), and Ms Cheryl Lister, Acting Financial Secretary for the Ministry of Finance.
Premier Burt concluded: “The meeting was productive. It is important that the Government of Bermuda continues to engage in these international fora, to bring better financial services to the people of Bermuda.”