|‘Fierce remarks damage Curaçao’s society’|
|Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:17|
WILLEMSTAD — Deeds but also words can have far-reaching consequences for a county and its people. The international financial sector on the island does not benefit from how one deal with disputes now. This is not only disadvantageous for the international banks on Curaçao but also for the other 1000+ employees on the island in branches directly or indirectly involved with the sector, according to the Association of International Banks (IBA).
The IBA promotes the interests of the international banking system on Curaçao and St. Maarten. Eighty percent of the international banks on Curaçao and St. Maarten are a member of the association, namely 27 members. The locally established international banks have bank relations in various parts of the world. “Payments are after all made in foreign currency. The collaboration with these international correspondents is based in the first place on trust: confidence in the experience and professionalism of the financial sector on Curaçao, but also trust in the political stability of the country Curaçao. However, in the past years, months and days, this trust has been taxed. In the current digital world, the serious accusations expressed to and fro on Curaçao are immediately translated and put on international websites.”
The IBA mentions that these websites are consulted by international regulating organizations, including the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) that periodically monitors the sector to prevent laundering of money and financing of terrorism. “Curaçao will be labeled a risk area if the integrity of our institutions and/or the legal security is under dispute. Considering a risk area requires extra attention and inquiry, corresponding banks can charge extra costs for transactions. This will make the financial sector more expensive and the competition more difficult. These banks can also decide to terminate the collaboration with international banks domiciled on Curaçao. As a result they could become isolated from the international financial system, making it more difficult to offer their clients the service.”
According to the IBA, the international financial sector on Curaçao, together with the tourism and oil industry, is crucial. “Jeopardizing these means less tax revenues, but also less activities and revenues for professional service providers, such as the notary, accountant firms and tax advisors. It also means a decrease in the number of business stay over tourists, with consequences for hotels, restaurants and other actors in the tourist sector. Differences of opinion are healthy in principle because they could lead to new insights. However, such discussions may never lead to our new country being affected to its very foundation.”