The Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and the Central Bank, needs to aggressively press the banking sector to grant debt relief in light of the continued negative financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to Mayaro MP, Rushton Paray.
Paray said “It is unacceptable that the Government-owned First Citizens is the only large financial institution to commit to loan moratoriums despite the obvious suffering of thousands of debtors, including homeowners and small business proprietors.”
He said “Mr. Imbert and Central Bank Governor Dr. Alvin Hilaire must publicly speak out on the recalcitrant banks and must privately bring pressure upon them to offer the facility of restructured loans. At the same time, they must thank and congratulate the supportive smaller financial institutions, including credit unions.”
Financial institutions in most countries have introduced monetary policies, including debt relief, to aid financially-stricken families and business operators. In certain cases, governments have implemented measures in which restructured plans are tied to saving workers’ jobs and averting business insolvencies.
Paray said “In Trinidad and Tobago, the ineffective Minister of Finance is permitting the tail to wag the dog by allowing self-serving financial institutions to protect their shareholders’ interests at all costs. As a result, there are mounting bad loans, and borrowers are at the mercy of financial institutions.”
He aded “This pressing issue is another in which the government has left the population to fend for itself during the pandemic and has refused to hold discussions with interest groups.