CBCS Interim President Jose Jardim. Photo courtesy “Antilliaans Dagblad”.
PHILIPSBURG--The Central Bank for Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) has responded to United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison, who in a letter dated April 21, urged CBCS to take a number of urgent actions to help ease the blow of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis in St. Maarten within two weeks of receiving his letter or make their positions available for persons who are willing to help the country.
In a response dated May 7, CBCS Interim President Jose Jardim said CBCS cannot force any commercial bank to open a bank account for an individual or a business. He was responding to Brison’s call for an immediate right to bank accounts and consumer protection laws for consumers in St. Maarten.
Jardim said CBCS does not have an ordinance or guideline similar to the Netherlands with reference to the right to a basic bank account.
“At this moment, before opening a bank account (or in general when providing financial products), a commercial bank assesses the risk profile and background of its potential customers (both individuals and businesses) based on Know Your Customer (KYC)/Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
“KYC and CDD requirements are incorporated in the National Ordinance Combatting Money-Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and outlined in the Provisions and Guidelines on the Detection and Deterrence of Money-Laundering and Terrorist Financing for Credit Institutions of the CBCS,” Jardim said, in his response, which was co-signed by CBCS Director Secretary Leila Matroos-Lasten
Jardim said adherence to these directives, derived from international standards, is necessary to limit the risk of further losing correspondent banking relations, which would impede any cross-border transaction including buying goods and servicing the tourism industry. He said the Consumer Banking Protection Law was not attached to Brison’s letter and indicated that once a copy of this draft law is submitted by the government of St. Maarten to the CBCS, they will review it.