US Banks "Are Afraid" Of Doing Business With Cuba / 14ymedio
14ymedio/Agencies, 10 September 2016 — Multinational financial companies
took part in a luncheon Friday with Cuban officials to discuss financial
transactions between the US and Cuba, reports Reuters.
At the event, organized by the Chamber of Commerce in New York City,
Cuban officials again noted that despite the easing of the embargo
decreed by President Barack Obama, financial institutions are afraid to
face sanctions from the US Department Treasury.
"In terms of politics and diplomacy there has been great progress, but
in the financial sector there is a lot of fear," said Irma Martinez,
first vice president of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC).
Representatives from companies like Western Union, General Electric and
Credit Suisse Group attended the meeting and had the opportunity to
interact with Cuban officials.
"Frankly, we still see reluctance on the part of international banks in
the US," said Mark Feierstein, a senior White House official who spoke
during the luncheon.
US President Barack Obama eased restrictions on financial services with
Cuba earlier this year, shortly before his visit to the island. However,
banks remain cautious in financial transactions with Cuba.
In October 2015, the company Credit Agricole had to pay a fine of 787
million dollars for violating sanctions against several countries,
So far only one bank, Stonegate, has issued US credit cards that can be
used in Cuba. The Cuban government has reiterated on several occasions
that due to limitations of the embargo it cannot access funding sources.
Cuban authorities have not eliminated the 10% penalty on the conversion
rate of the dollar introduced in 2004 on the island. Foreign Minister
Bruno Rodriguez said last March that the surcharge will only be
eliminated when Havana is sure that it can use dollars in its
transactions with international banks.
Source: US Banks "Are Afraid" Of Doing Business With Cuba / 14ymedio –
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