Sun | May 20, 2018

Almighty banks

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2013 | 12:00 AM


It appears the banks have the power to determine the financial markets in Jamaica and, more important, that they are being facilitated by the regulatory agencies.

Currently, the banks can:

Determine who is licensed to do what.

Determine who should do financial business in Jamaica by simply closing a person's account and/or preventing them from having a business relationship with that organisation, in spite of the fact that such action could result in the discontinuation of a legitimate business or negatively impact that person's legitimate livelihood.

Set rates, such as interest rates, foreign exchange rates, etc.

Impose whatever fees they consider appropriate to meet their financial targets.

Who should be able to get credit, do mobile payments and banking, as well as implement innovations that could empower the ordinary Jamaican.

What is even more alarming is the fact that the financial institutions have the authority to carry out such actions with the endorsement and support of the agencies of the State and the leaders of Government who the people elected to protect and preserve our 'interests'.

I must warn that if we allow the agenda of the minority to prevail above the interest of the majority, we could become a society with confused priorities heading down the road of turmoil and possible destruction.

We have seen what has happened in other counties and how those actions have led to chaos. Let's learn from those mistakes and be wise in our actions.