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Caribbean, Central American Banks Being Cut Off from US Sources

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Caribbean, Central American Banks Being Cut Off from US Sources

 

A currency exchange dealer counts U.S. dollar banknotes for a client at a shop in northern Tehran in this file photo taken on October 3, 2010. Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl
  

(TRUNEWS) Several sources are confirming that banks based in Caribbean and Central American countries are being denied access to their US funds, commonly known as correspondent accounts.

 

 

An employee checks U.S. dollar bank-notes at a bank in Hanoi, Vietnam August 12, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

 

Sources known to TRUNEWS have confirmed that local media in Panama are reporting that banks in that country are indeed being denied access to those funds.  According to The Curacao Chronicle:

Banco General SA and Banco Nacíonal de Panama SA are among those who reportedly are now without any means of receiving funds from the United States financial structure.

To add to the unease in Panama City, Banco General is alleged to be currently under investigation by a US law enforcement agency, together with a number of other banks.

Americans who own businesses in Panama are now completely unable to pay their staff, and to cover expenses incurred in the normal course of business. Given Panama’s strong laws regarding employee rights, absentee owners face immediate civil, as well as even criminal, liability, for non-payment of salaries and social security taxes.

Additionally, if nonresidents cannot pay their mortgages on Panamanian real estate holdings, the banks will foreclose; personal property or other assets of foreign investors could also be seized, with or without legal action, if Americans default on their obligations.

Yahoo News is reporting that businesses in the Caribbean and Central America are scrambling to make contingency plans over fears that more large banks will cut off relationships with counterparts in developing countries as they pull out of markets seen as riskier.

A number of factors are contributing to the current pressure on financial institutions in the Caribbean and Central America.  The most significant of factor of late points to the release of reams of off-shore banking information found in The Panama Papers.

 

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