Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2020

MP Buncamper questions money transfers

Claudius 'Toontje' Buncamper

PHILIPSBURG – Parliamentarian Claudius Buncamper has asked Finance Minister Ardwell Irion in a letter dated May 27 whether measures will be taken “to slow down or stop the flight of foreign currency.”

MP Buncamper states in his letter that the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten “placed a stoppage to allow funds larger than 150,000 guilders to leave the country at once.”

The Central Bank suspended the issuance of foreign exchange licenses for money transfers to other countries on March 23. Such licenses are required for transfers that exceed 150,000 guilders ($83,800). “Transfers for which no license is required can continue as usual,” the bank states in an elucidation to its decision. “The suspension of the issuance of foreign exchange licenses only applies to transactions whereby funds are transferred abroad in the short term and thereby cause a drain of foreign exchange.”

The suspension applies to eight specific transactions above 150,000 guilders: 1. Extending loans to non-residents; 2. Transfers to own bank accounts abroad by legal entities; 3. Transfers by legal entities to current accounts of foreign parent companies, subsidiaries, or sister companies; 4. Transfers to own foreign bank accounts by natural persons; 5. Investments abroad; 6. Participation of a resident in a foreign company; 7. Payments of dividend or profit to non-residents; 8. Early repayment or earlier received loans.

The questions MP Buncamper posed to Finance Minister Irion focus on “remittances to family members abroad.”

For transfers by these individuals the Central Bank will withhold a license if the total amount per year exceeds 250,000 guilders.

“All capital transfers below 150,000 guilders can be executed as usual without a license,” according to the Central Bank.

Lines at MoneyGram - 2020051901

MP Buncamper asks in his letter whether the Minister Irion has “done any inquiries into what the effect the remittances to family members abroad presently going on at the banks and money agencies like Moneygram and Punto Mio will be having on the programs of the SSRP (Sint Maarten Stimulus and Recovery Plan).

Buncamper furthermore asks: “Is it fair practice that we allow monies to leave the country at this point of the economic crisis which will hamper our foreign reserves?”

The MP has asked the minister to answer his questions no later than today, May 29.

Lines at UnionCaribe - 2020051902

Caption: Photos taken from social media showing lines of people outside of money remittance services MoneyGram and Union Caribe. Top photo is of MP Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper during his Facebook Live information session.

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Related links:
Letter MP Buncamper to Minister of Finance