THE EDITOR: My personal experience of trying to do banking in the United States and TT has been one of ease in the US and torture in this country.
To get a checking account or credit card in Trinidad, the grilling that one must go through is insufferable. At some point you wonder if the next question will be “who is your great-great-grand-daddy ?”
According to the banks, the suffering that TT citizens must endure is because of the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) rules that the US government has enforced across the world.
The engine that drives industry and commerce in the world today is the internet. To facilitate the greatest possible productivity in a country, the citizens must be easily able to conduct transactions over the internet. And therefore ease of accessibility to credit and/or debit cards is essential.
Countries like TT cannot progress with their hands tied financially.
The playing field has to be levelled. Maybe this is where China comes in. Being the industrial and commercial world powerhouse that it is, Chinese banks should consider seriously competing with Mastercard and Visa across the world.
However, such operations would be more acceptable – for many reasons – if they are headquartered in a neutral country with effective, enforceable banking laws.