14 January, 2007

Banking: Guest Editorial 1

Public De
bt”. Our local banks seem not to be in tune with what’s going to be important to our local indigenous people with respect to long-term financial survival and viability. Their main focus seems to be more putting cars on the roads and into the hands of some who don’t really need them. And in addition there are quite a few who can’t really afford to have these vehicles. All told, this is not an asset that our people are being encouraged to invest in, but rather a liability. In addition, now with the Christmas Season, we are also being encouraged to spend on consumer goods, most of which are not necessities, but wants. In my opinion, it would be much more important for the locals to invest in real estate: complete unfinished houses; build-out upstairs on existing flat roofs; build bungalows; invest in affordable land for future development. Presently, there is a housing shortage, and we should be making efforts to rectify and take advantage of this potential. The country’s real estate assets are being rapidly sold and given away to expatriate companies, and we are in danger of losing that all-time important fundamental, ie, owing our land and country. It is of paramount importance that we make every effort to retain as much land assets as possible, and to maximize the potential of our real estate assets.

Our local banks should be giving special attention to the promotion of real estate investments and borrowing. Real assets for local people, not further burdens and liabilities. Our governments have all failed in promoting local interests. They have missed the boat big-time. They have failed to foresee today when we are short of houses for expatriate workers. They have failed to encourage local investment in real estate. They have not supported the concept of maximizing the potential of our real estate assets while at the same time retaining them for future generations, eg, by leasing as opposed to selling.

The long-term viability of our local banks will depend on the solvency of the local customers and shareholders. The banking authorities should be mindful not to encourage short-term and easy gains by putting people in financial jeopardy, and losing out in the long term by creating a large pool of bankrupt customers.

ly, our banks are not in tune with what’s important to us in the long term, and therefore I think we should “Dial again!

1 comment:

  1. All I have to say is that walking into my bank at Christmas time 2006 was like walking into a shop. It was quite disgusting. I never thought my Anguillian bank would stoop so low. They must have been flooded with money to go to such lengths to persuade poor people to borrow to buy all the TVs, fridges, and microwaves being advertised all over the floor space. They should be ashamed of themselves.


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