Caribbean banks support CARICOM in regional integration efforts

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CASTRIES, St Lucia — The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) has commended the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) for reaffirming the commitment towards the Caribbean Single Market and Economy and its significance for the regional financial sector, at the sixth special meeting of the Council on September 4, 2018, in Barbados.

The CAB views the resolution taken at this meeting as a step in the right direction to re-energize the regional integration commitment. The CAB said it is pleased to note that the Council has agreed to addressing the following areas that contribute to building capacity and efficiency within the financial services industry, as well as stimulate lending to productive sectors of the regional economies:

1. Enhancing the financial safety-net through deposit insurance;
2. Developing a regionally integrated capital market; and
3. Harmonizing credit reporting systems and legislation.

Notwithstanding the intent to finalize key instruments, such as a harmonized investment policy and code, an incentives regime and model securities legislation by next year, the CAB highlighted the need for expediency and uniformity in the implementation of these commitments.

The CAB endorsed the statement by the chairman of the COFAP, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne: “It is imperative for us to pursue urgently the efforts to advance the necessary legal measures to complete those initiatives.”

The CAB added that it believes that the timely enactment of key harmonized legislation, agreed by all member states, is critical to the safety, soundness, growth and sustainability of the financial services sector which is the bedrock of our economies. Consequently, the CAB encouraged CARICOM governments to maintain this sense of urgency towards the advancement of the regional integration process.

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