The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) recently paid an official visit to the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana as well as the Central Bank of Guyana.
CAB, in a statement, said discussions focused on issues of great importance to the financial services sector and the growth and development of regional economies.
This included "the importance of the financial sector in facilitating trade in goods and services, remittances and investments (and) the development of a regional payments system which should: reduce reliance on international correspondent banks; reduce the length of the regional payments chain; and improve settlement times."
During the July 6 - 7 visit, the CAB directors first met with Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General and Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration. They then met with Dr Gobind Ganga, Governor of the Central Bank of Guyana as well as with Ramnarine Lal, Director, Banking Supervision Department of the Central Bank of Guyana.
Other issues discussed were harmonisation of the Region’s regulatory and legislative framework to provide a more effective enabling environment for the financial services industry; solutions which could be pursued in an effort to address the correspondent banking issue; and strengthening collaboration between the CAB and the CARICOM as well as the Central Banks in the Region on matters of common interest.
The CAB said, "In recognition of the unprecedented challenges being faced by the industry, and given the important role of banks in financial intermediation, economic growth and the overall development of the Region, (we have) made it a priority to collaborate with key stakeholders in the industry."
The CAB directors also took the opportunity to visit some of the Association’s members in Guyana and to listen first hand to some of their concerns and challenges as well as to share best practices.