#TurksandCaicos, April 27, 2021 – A lack of access to capital for investments, a lack of access to banking services, high rate of non performing loans and the huge demand for services even where there are brick and mortar branches have worked to give banking the Turks and Caicos a bad name.
Speaking in a popular radio show dubbed “Financially Speaking” hosted by Drexwell Seymour on Radio Turks and Caicos, the Premier highlighted some of the ways his government would solve the long-standing banking crisis on the islands, given that only one bank offers national ATM transaction services.
While the banking community of Grand Turk has complained about the unavailability of the full service by banks, with branches closing in Grand Turk in recent years, the ATM machines have proven incapable of serving the demand in the islands outside of Providenciales.
“Wrapping our hands around domestic banking industry is a difficult one,” said Hon. Missick in response to the banking crisis question.
The banking challenges comes at a time when most of the banks are struggling with loads of debts yet to be recovered due to massive business failure in TCI caused by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many businesses and individuals applied for the extension of debt repayment period, further causing a deficit in cash flow in banks.
Some of the things Hon. Misick promised to work on in his bid to transform the banking and finance sector include formation of credit unions, extension of mortgage, and regulation of predatory lending that leads to high cost loans that can eventually lead to a ‘bad debt’.
The TCI Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick has promised support to the development of domestic capital formation institutions to supplement the banking services in the country and to support innovation and entrepreneurship.
The TCI Premier further explained that the banks in TCI hold most of their money in merchant banking, and therefore, the situation could not be flipped overnight.
However, he promised his PNP government would look for a viable solution to the challenge, even if it meant venturing into digital currency.