Caribbean lenders seem to be finally emerging from a difficult few years, with both aggregate Tier 1 capital and assets rising. Profitability remains largely unchanged, however, with some banks making significant gains while others remain in the red.
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The US sanctions regime will drive business into the shadows and accelerate the growth of alternative trading currencies.
Trinidad and Tobago finance minister Larry Howai tells Silvia Pavoni about his plans for the country's international finance centre, and explains why its improving legislative framework and educated workforce make the country stand out from its Caribbean peers.
The governor of Trinidad and Tobago's central bank, Jwala Rambarran, has overseen a hectic period in which the country has considerably tightened its supervision procedures, sought to clarify the role of its international finance centre and developed its capital markets. He tells Silvia Pavoni how improving financial inclusion is his next priority.
Trinidad and Tobago’s plans to develop an international finance centre hold great promise, but what hurdles does the country face to achieve its goal?
Awash with liquidity and riding on the back of the country's impressive economic growth, the picture looks healthy for Trinidad and Tobago's banks, with opportunities in SME financing and online banking set to maintain this momentum.
With an average GDP per capita higher than any other country in Central and South America, Trinidad and Tobago has built its economic might on the back of its oil and gas resources. However, the Caribbean country is now looking to diversify its economy, and key to this is the establishment of an IFC.
New regulatory pressures and slow economic growth have been taking their toll on the US's small regional lenders, leading to worries that many of them will be squeezed out of the market. But results from the first quarter of 2014 show that these smaller players are actually performing better than the country's larger lenders.
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