Didacus Joule, executive director of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), has warned financial institutions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) against allowing citizens to be lured into the “quick money trap” outside the region. Most of the sub-region’s residents are the most economically vulnerable.
Dr. Jules first raised the issue earlier this month in a talk at a local commercial bank’s educational event, but this weekend his remarks echoed the findings of a recent study on “Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion in the OECS.” It has repeatedly stated that it is partially based on It was jointly commissioned by OECS and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and supported by the World Bank’s Digital Transformation Project.
The study interviewed 7,037 people aged 18 and over across the sub-region and Dr Jules said the study “contains some worrying elements in this pot-corona period…” .
First, he revealed that the survey found that “more than half of individuals in the OECS and ECCU regions said they were unable to meet their daily living expenses in the past 12 months.”
Furthermore, “nearly half” (43.9%) responded that “I would not be able to make a major expense today without borrowing money from a financial institution or asking family or friends for help.”
In some cases, you may have to sell real estate or dispose of other valuables, and you may have to make do by “cutting, eliminating, or postponing expenses.” The survey also revealed that individuals who
The survey also found that 24.4% (almost a quarter) of respondents across the subregion said they had to ask their parents or family members for help with saving or borrowing.
Dr. Jules pointed out that the top three affected OECS and ECCU member countries include Dominica, Grenada and Saint Lucia (in that order), and noted that financial institutions, including the First National Bank, have lost the “trust” of their customers. He argued that there is a need to continually build trust and trust. “Customer satisfaction and motivation” to prevent cash capture by external commercial and financial institutions.
Dr Jules pointed out that “70% of the business in the OECS/ECCU sub-region is generated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” and that “tomorrow will be just as difficult” for indigenous national banks. He said there is an obligation to start taking this into account. Especially because of the current world crisis.
He warned against an externally generated quick-money trap that would trap already cash-strapped OECS citizens into “economic servitude.”
The director-general said he was recently approached by “an organization” claiming to have a “brilliant idea” to “relieve the burden on local farmers in light of local food insecurity issues”. .
But if a private company discloses its assumed interest rate, it increases the likelihood that farmers will find themselves in ultimate financial hardship “at the worst possible time, when they are already at their most vulnerable,” he said.
Dr Jules accused unidentified groups of “trying to transfer wealth from farmers to themselves” and warned that he would “publicly oppose” the proposed scheme “if it is launched…” Ta.
The Director-General first raised the issue at the First National Bank’s Stanley France Education Forum on November 4th.