Bahamas PM wants big banks to consider implications of cutting regional ties
Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie wants the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to push hard to ensure that banks in large economies consider the potential implications of ending their relationships with regional financial institutions.
According to him, regional countries have complied with global tax and financial requirements and so big banks have "an obligation" to consider the impact of their actions on the Caribbean.
Many CARICOM countries depend heavily on remittances and foreign direct investments that are facilitated by some of the world's largest banks based in North America and Europe.
To comply with international regulations and lessen threats to their reputations, the banks are ending relationships in the region stigmatised as a tax haven.
But Christie has held to the CARICOM position that the region has responded to the criticisms by implementing various reforms and controls.
He said the implications could lead to rising unemployment, crime and poverty.
Christie was speaking this afternoon ahead of this evening's opening of the 37th meeting of the CARICOM heads of government conference in Guyana.
The cutting off of correspondent banking has been described by CARICOM as an economic assault on regional economies.