Letters to the Editor
THE EDITOR: My personal experience of trying to do banking in the US and TT has been an experience of ease in the US and torture in this country.
To obtain a current account or a credit card in Trinidad, the grills that one must undergo are unbearable. At some point, you wonder if the next question will be “who is your great-great-grandfather?”
According to the banks, the suffering that TT citizens have to endure is due to the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) rules that the US government has enforced across the world.
The engine that drives industry and commerce in today’s world is the Internet. To facilitate the greatest possible productivity in a country, citizens must be able to easily conduct transactions over the Internet. And so ease of access to credit and/or debit cards is essential.
Countries like TT cannot progress with their hands tied financially.
The playing field must be leveled. This may be where China comes in. Being the global industrial and trading powerhouse that it is, Chinese banks should seriously consider competing with Mastercard and Visa across the globe.
However, such operations would be more acceptable – for many reasons – if they were headquartered in a neutral country with effective and enforceable banking laws.