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Bankers Association calls for mutual respect

Tuesday, March 14 2017

The Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) yesterday said it is committed to openness and transparency and appealed for mutual respect in what it said was a continuing debate over the fees and service charges imposed on customers by their banks. The association said it has noted with concern “the recent disparaging comments” made by individuals and other industry groups about the overall integrity of the banking industry and it welcomes the discourse on what it termed an important issue.

In a statement the association said, “We must consider the negative perception and damaging effects remarks of this nature can have on an industry which employs over 10,000 Trinidad and Tobago citizens, represents over 15 percent of our nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and which provides services to close to one million Trinidad and Tobago citizens. Many of our members have operated in Trinidad and Tobago for decades and have played an important role in the development of our twin island nation since its independence in 1962.” It adds that the banks have helped millions of citizens save for their retirement, own their first home, open their first small business and generally realise on their dreams and aspirations.

Indeed our members have also supported various government entities and the sovereign itself in raising funds to support the direct development of critical state projects since independence.

It said, “A functioning and vibrant financial services industry is critical to the future development and stability of Trinidad and Tobago, especially as the country grapples with the current negative economic environment. We can reflect on the damage done to the world economy by the collapse in 2008 of the financial industry in the USA to understand how destructive the effects of a financial sector shock and the resulting loss in confidence can have on any country.”

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