Open Letter to Financial Institutions – What is the COVID-19 Plan?
As the COVID-19 cripples world transportation, many areas will be severely affected…. these include Food, the opportunity to work & earn money, etc…… I would like our PM & her Government to engage the business sector/others and begin planning on methods to reduce the economic impact on the population:
- Banks, Credit Unions, etc. to reduce/suspend for a period of time, Loans/Mortgages/etc. payments
- Credit Card companies to do similar
- Food Importers, Supermarkets, etc. to NOT increase prices
and other transactions/processes that ordinary people have to bear daily. We are not asking to ‘wipe-off’ these agreements ……. just suspend them until (we hope) the virus is under-control and the World begins to get back to normal.
ks, BU commenter
The comment quoted connected with an online article Caribbean Banking Association Says It Can’t Be Business as Usual as Coronavirus Spreads the blogmaster read yesterday. The impact COVID-19 is having on the world spans the gamut – Italy on lock down to other countries at various stages of executing a containment strategy. Unfortunately it translates to the global economy projected to slip into a ‘recession’. This is not good news for Barbados given the current state of the local economy. There will be some more pain Barbadians have to endure bearing in mind it is a country already suffering from economic fatigue.
Why should the comment by ks be of interest to all of us?
We are observing local financial institutions mobilizing to protect the health of staff and customers. A good thing all agree. What we have not heard so far – is how financial institutions plan to react to rising unemployment because of the economic slowdown. Global commentators are ominously forecasting that this recession will be worse than 2008. How will financial institutions commit to foregoing revenue to support economies like Barbados about to crash and burn?
Many businesses in Barbados are experiencing a significant drop off in sales, especially in the hospitality sector. If Barbados has to move to stage 2 and 3 of the Covod-19 disaster plan the situation will get worse. The ‘haircut’ Barbadians had to suffer would have been in vain. Barbadian households and businesses will default on loans. The government does not have a Stabilization Fund like Trinidad and Tobago or the capacity to print money for stimulus like the USA. The greenback is still considered the world’s reserve currency.
The question for the financial institutions in Barbados is – What is the plan? We are in this together right?