Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says more work to be done to make T&T's banks compliant with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) laws and Government will do what has to be done to ensure that T&T doesn't find itself exposed to any "disconnections" from the international banking system.
While assuring that local banks are in "good shape", Dr Rowley, the Government has been working inside and outside of the Parliament to meet the FATF requirements so T&T's banks do not suffer de-risking.
"Banks abroad in the metropolitan countries are taking the position that if we are not sufficiently compliant with the requirements of FATF our banking would pose a threat to them, where they are, and they would be liable for actions taking place within our jurisdiction. To protect themselves from that they cut off relationships with banks," he explained.
The repercussions for T&T banks if we don't become compliant would be that our banks become totally local and cannot properly conduct international trade and transfers.
"This is not just a threat, it has already happened to some Caricom banks. Belize had action of that nature and there is very strong cause in some quarters for other banks to be faced with similar problems"
Dr Rowley said the issue was discussed at the just concluded Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Cuba. He said regional leaders continue to hope that,"it does not become an arbitrary action or a punitive acton hoping that it does not yet become another development that puts impediments in the way of developing countries, particularly small developing countries where the banking sector is critical and small."