Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2020

Finance Minister Irion meets with Central Bank board

Finance Minister Irion wih CBCS management board

PHILIPSBURG — During the course of this week Minister of Finance, the honorable Ardwell Irion, met with member of the supervisory board of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten (CBCS) Dennis Richardson and with the board of the CBCS.

During these meetings, an update was provided on the latest developments with the emphasis on the solvency of the Giro Bank and actions taken by the CBCS, and the proposal of the increase of the license fee for Curacao in connection herewith.

It must be emphatically stated that St. Maarten is not considering to increase its license fees. This is a measure being considered for Curacao by the government of Curacao. To be clear, the 1% license fee currently charged on foreign exchange transactions by commercial banks to clients, is collected by St. Maarten and by Curacao and is deposited directly into the treasury of the respective countries. What is paid on St. Maarten is received by the government of St. Maarten and the same goes for Curacao.

Discussions were held on the performance of the economies of both countries and the concerns that are foreseen. While St. Maarten’s economy grew in 2019 by 5.5% and is expected to grow in 2020 by 3%, the growth is primarily the result of insurance payouts and personal funds that have been used for rebuilding.

St. Maarten is running the risk of losing market-share as key areas have not recovered fast enough, thus allowing competitors to capture market-share. This could had been mitigated if more projects had been executed, be it through commercial bank funding or the Trust Fund.

Minister of Finance of St. Maarten has requested the CB to finance a conference on Blockchain and digital currency as well as carry out awareness campaigns for the community of St. Maarten on financial education, which includes banking in general.

Photo caption: From L to R: Mrs. Leila Matroos-Lasten  –  Directeur Secretaris; Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion; Jose Jardim – Interim President CBCS; Raquel Lo Fo Wong – Director CBCS St. Maarten; Ron Gomes Casseres – Advisor to the Board of Directors; Mrs Nihaila Eustachia – Executive assistant to the Board of Directors.