De-risking of regional banks by US financial institutions discussed with Pompeo

The issue of de-risking of regional banks by United States financial institutions was one of the issues discussed with United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo when he met with the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) at the Caricom Secretariat Headquarters.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Caricom SG, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the Secretariat on Friday

In a statement issued on Saturday, Caricom said that discussions included exchanges on the COVID-19 pandemic and the severe economic fall-out being experienced by Caricom Member States, the renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act (CBPTA), the de-risking of regional banks by US financial institutions and co-operation under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).
Additionally, the Secretary General took the opportunity to thank Pompeo for the response by him and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to the issues raised in a letter to them by the then Chair of the Community, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados earlier this year. The Community sought US support for initiatives to assist in combatting, among other things, the economic fall-out from the pandemic.

Ambassador LaRocque emphasised the need for Caricom Member States to have access to concessional development financing which is denied to them due to the criteria applied of GDP per capita and the classification of Member States as middle income in that context. This access, he noted, was critical as the region sought to emerge from the grave economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 as well as to build resilience to natural disasters.
On Friday the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, wrapped up a two-day visit to Guyana.
He arrived in Guyana on Thursday evening and immediately met with President Dr Irfaan Ali and some of his Cabinet members. The engagement continued on Friday with the signing of agreements between the two Governments to deepen cooperation.
After his official business with the Guyana Government on Friday morning, Secretary Pompeo met with Ambassador LaRocque and described the meeting as “important” in a subsequent tweet.
During the meeting, the US Secretary of State thanked Caricom for its support for democracy in Guyana, which helped ensure a credible outcome of the March 2, 2020 elections.
The US Secretary of State himself played a prominent role in pushing for democracy in Guyana during that tumultuous period. In fact, he had announced visa restrictions back in July against Guyanese officials responsible for undermining democracy here.
Nevertheless, Pompeo asked for Caricom’s continued support in speaking out against regional threats to democracy during Friday’s meeting.
Secretary Pompeo was on a tour of the Western Hemisphere that focused on the US’s commitment to defend democracy, combat COVID-19 while revitalising economies in the pandemic’s wake, and strengthen security against regional threats.
He began his tour in Suriname on Thursday before coming to Guyana. He departed Friday afternoon for Boa Vista, Brazil, and travelled to Colombia on Saturday before flying back to the US to wrap up his tour in Texas today.