Pierre Concerned Over Bank’s Cashless Transaction Plan – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has expressed concern over reports that an unnamed local bank would move towards cashless transactions.

“I read somewhere that one of the banks in this country may want to stop, basically stop all transactions in cash,” Pierre, Finance Minister, told parliament on Tuesday.

Pierre noted that he has been very cautious regarding his statements about lending institutions due to his responsibilities as Finance Minister.

“But Mr. Speaker, how do you tell an elderly person in Bouton that they cannot have cash transactions in a bank when they put their money in there?” The Prime Minister stated.

“I am going to bring that up with the Ministers of Finance in the region,” Pierre disclosed.

He stressed that he was not making any anti-bank statements.

Nevertheless, Pierre recalled that a few months ago in England, the banks were forced to have an ATM for every 3,000 residents to facilitate cash transactions.

“How can you tell people when they put their money in the bank, they can’t take it out – they must have a card to take it out? Mr. Speaker, we should not allow that to happen,” the Castries East MP declared.

He explained that several people do not, will not, or cannot have cards.

As a result, Pierre urged the unnamed bank to reexamine its plan.

He also described the situation of banks asking vendors and taxi drivers who present two to four hundred US dollars to identify the source of the funds as ‘very disturbing‘.

“Mr. Speaker, the argument against that is money laundering Mr. Speaker. A vendor in the arcade will launder $US 200?” Pierre asked.