The STAR Busi­ness­week

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - NEWS - BY CHRIS­TIAN WAYNE – EDI­TOR AT LARGE

It’s dif­fi­cult to pub­lish a Caribbean-fo­cused busi­ness pub­li­ca­tion with­out mak­ing a re­luc­tant tip of the prover­bial hat to the out­sized im­por­tance of the bank­ing in­dus­try in shap­ing the eco­nomic af­fairs of the Caribbean—for bet­ter or for worse. Sure, most fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the Caribbean leave us with much to be de­sired when it comes to pretty much ev­ery ba­sic ten­ant of cus­tomer ser­vice but, nev­er­the­less, we’re bet­ter stand­ing with them than against them. Re­gion­ally speak­ing, there are few in­dus­tries in the Caribbean that have been as lag­gardly as banks have been in keep­ing pace with in­no­va­tion, tech­nol­ogy, and—in the case of banks specif­i­cally—their na­tional obli­ga­tions to pur­sue eco­nomic growth in par­al­lel with their in­di­vid­ual prof­its. How­ever, we seem to have hit fever pitch as fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions around the re­gion lit­er­ally can­not af­ford to be lag­gards any longer. Echo­ing these sen­ti­ments and chart­ing the path for­ward for bank­ing in the Eastern Caribbean is Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Min­is­ter of Gre­nada and newly-as­sumed chair­man of the Eastern Caribbean Cen­tral Bank’s Mon­e­tary Coun­cil, who re­cently sat down for an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The STAR Busi­ness­week to dis­cuss the Coun­cil’s agenda and the gen­eral eco­nomic cli­mate of our re­gion.

Not an in­ter­view to miss; be­gin­ning here on page 2. Once again, Cit­i­zen­ship By In­vest­ment Pro­grammes are back in the head­lines with the Euro­pean Union de­cid­ing to re­it­er­ate its dis­taste for golden visa pro­grammes in a re­port set to be pub­lished next month fol­low­ing con­cerns that cit­i­zen­ship schemes need to be more strin­gent if they are not to be used as con­duits for looted money laun­dered through banks, prop­erty and other in­vest­ments by dic­ta­tor­ships from African na­tions and else­where (reeks of im­pe­ri­al­ism but they have a point!). See the Fi­nan­cial Times re­port­ing on page 3 in “EU states warned over bil­lions banked through ‘golden visa’ schemes”.

What’s bad for EU-mem­ber cit­i­zen­ship schemes doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to mean doom and gloom for Caribbean-based im­mi­grant in­vestor schemes, now does it? STAR Busi­ness­week cor­re­spon­dent Ed Kennedy poses this ques­tion in our lead story “A Shift for ‘Ci­ti­zens of the World’ From Europe to the Caribbean?” start­ing on page 1.

It’s Noth­ing Per­sonal. It’s Busi­ness.

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