In so many ways

In so many ways

If what Member of Parliament Roland Brison says in today’s edition about commercial banks turning away current clients due to “no valid form of income” is true, it requires immediate attention from the Minister of Finance and Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS). While one can understand the need for source-verification due to anti-money-laundering rules and the related “de-risking” policies of correspondent banks abroad certainly when opening new accounts, closing existing ones without indication of wrongdoing is a drastic step.
The reality remains that St. Maarten has a sizeable so-called “informal” sector, which doesn’t mean all concerned are necessarily involved in any serious criminal activity. Denying these persons access to regular banking will likely push them further into illegality.
Generally, unless they switch to virtual banking things have not become any easier for customers. Cheques were discontinued and next up is the savings book that especially seniors who don’t go online as much have often used for decades.
It’s all undoubtedly well-intended and ultimately for the better. However, people should not be disproportionally burdened or inconvenienced because of perhaps making changes too hastily.
The United People’s (UP) Party faction leader even claims recipients of pensions, social aid and other government assistance are being shunned. That just seems wrong in so many ways.

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