I have been following a story recently. The story is officially about banking secrecy. More importantly, it is about the competence and reliability of West Indian banks. The part of the story that interests me is about NBA. The author claims that he had emailed various West Indian banks with the following question:
“Dear bank rep,
I have some questions about banking secrecy at your bank. I hope you’ll be glad to answer them. Here they are:
Under what conditions will the bank share information on its clients?
Does there have to be a government investigation underway? Does that matter?
If so, who can conduct this investigation?
Does it take a court order? Is an official request good enough?
Thanks and I hope you’ll answer my questions as best you can.”
He says that only two of the several banks in the West Indies that he wrote, particularly Griffon Bank of
“The rest of the Banks I contacted have not answered because, as everyone knows, it’s very hard to answer an e-mail if you’re only given one week. Or maybe they’re just lazy or don’t know how to type and click buttons, or they’re just not very service oriented or non-client friendly …or the benefit of the doubt: they’re so used to keeping their mouths shut that they did not answer my e-mails.”
I do not mind that he is talking about Grenadian or Antiguan banks. I do mind that he is talking about my bank.
The answers to his question were not difficult. One only had to be honest. One correct reply would have been:
"Who would be so naïve as to believe today that there exists any such thing as banking secrecy? It was approximately ten years ago that
Why would it have been so difficult to explain such a basic fact to a correspondent? Better by far to be accused of excessive compliance with intrusive regulation than of incompetence or laziness, I would have thought.