Categorized | News

BOM Director: “Offshore Financial Services Viable Option for Montserrat.”

 By Warren Cassell

Marius St. Rose

Marius St. Rose

Founding shareholder and Director of Bank of Montserrat Mario St. Rose believes that Montserrat needs to explore Offshore Financial Services as a viable option. Mr. Marius St. Rose made such a call during the Banks forum held to discuss the proposed amalgamation.

According to Mr. St. Rose, modern day banking calls for online banking, ATM machines, and other services that all modern banks provide. However, given Montserrat’s population of only 5,000, these services are costly and can not be provided by BOM while still generate profit. Mr. St. Rose consider the possibility of population increase but opined “We have lost about 50 – 60 % of what we once had. One can say bring in population but one thing that a number of people never appreciate is that every piece of resource has a carrying capacity for population. Water could be a constraint, land space could be a constraint and of course always importantly, is the environment. You don’t want to degrade the environment with over-housing and over-crowding.”

The 70 year old Director in delivering his presentation which was titled “From Bank of Montserrat Limited to Bank of Montserrat International Limited: In Search of a Growth Sector for Montserrat”, also warned that if Montserrat continues to depend on the resident population, it will remain small and eventually die. Further opportunities must therefore be explored. It is on this premise that Mr. St. Rose says the bank must seriously consider turning to offshore banking and financial services as a viable option for the bank and the island.

He argues that there are four requirements in order to “Montserratians want a reasonable standard of living from good income and not welfare that would meet the high costs of living expenses associated with inhabiting a small physically difficult location to access. …Because we are an island and do not produce much of what we consume or want to consume we have to get foreign exchange to buy it and to get foreign exchange means you have to earn it. Its not going to be given to you forever by the British Government.

In addressing the gathering, Mr. St. Rose then went on to make out his case as to why turning to Offshore Financial Services would be to Montserrat’s benefit.  “Offshore Banking and Financial Services offer the greatest alignment with our advantages and is the most capable of meeting our economic needs to the catalyst and to be the bedrock for the development of our country. …that sector has brought considerable wealth to such countries as Switzerland, New York, UK rolling in wealth out of managing other people’s financial resources. …In the last 50 years we have seen how it has transform such small economies that are our neighbour’s.”

Noting that Montserrat “is the only Caribbean UK dependency that does not have a vibrant offshore banking and Financial industry”, St. Rose was mindful of naysayers who argue that offshore banking and financial services is an industry that is threatened by large countries. Only recently the United States authorities sued the banks in Switzerland for billions for helping US citizens shelter money from taxes. Admitting that there are risks in the offshore banking and financial services industry, Mr. St. Rose concludes that risks are in domestic banking as well but such risks can be managed by co-operating with the regulatory authorities.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 By Warren Cassell

Marius St. Rose

Marius St. Rose

Founding shareholder and Director of Bank of Montserrat Mario St. Rose believes that Montserrat needs to explore Offshore Financial Services as a viable option. Mr. Marius St. Rose made such a call during the Banks forum held to discuss the proposed amalgamation.

Insert Ads Here

According to Mr. St. Rose, modern day banking calls for online banking, ATM machines, and other services that all modern banks provide. However, given Montserrat’s population of only 5,000, these services are costly and can not be provided by BOM while still generate profit. Mr. St. Rose consider the possibility of population increase but opined “We have lost about 50 – 60 % of what we once had. One can say bring in population but one thing that a number of people never appreciate is that every piece of resource has a carrying capacity for population. Water could be a constraint, land space could be a constraint and of course always importantly, is the environment. You don’t want to degrade the environment with over-housing and over-crowding.”

The 70 year old Director in delivering his presentation which was titled “From Bank of Montserrat Limited to Bank of Montserrat International Limited: In Search of a Growth Sector for Montserrat”, also warned that if Montserrat continues to depend on the resident population, it will remain small and eventually die. Further opportunities must therefore be explored. It is on this premise that Mr. St. Rose says the bank must seriously consider turning to offshore banking and financial services as a viable option for the bank and the island.

He argues that there are four requirements in order to “Montserratians want a reasonable standard of living from good income and not welfare that would meet the high costs of living expenses associated with inhabiting a small physically difficult location to access. …Because we are an island and do not produce much of what we consume or want to consume we have to get foreign exchange to buy it and to get foreign exchange means you have to earn it. Its not going to be given to you forever by the British Government.

In addressing the gathering, Mr. St. Rose then went on to make out his case as to why turning to Offshore Financial Services would be to Montserrat’s benefit.  “Offshore Banking and Financial Services offer the greatest alignment with our advantages and is the most capable of meeting our economic needs to the catalyst and to be the bedrock for the development of our country. …that sector has brought considerable wealth to such countries as Switzerland, New York, UK rolling in wealth out of managing other people’s financial resources. …In the last 50 years we have seen how it has transform such small economies that are our neighbour’s.”

Noting that Montserrat “is the only Caribbean UK dependency that does not have a vibrant offshore banking and Financial industry”, St. Rose was mindful of naysayers who argue that offshore banking and financial services is an industry that is threatened by large countries. Only recently the United States authorities sued the banks in Switzerland for billions for helping US citizens shelter money from taxes. Admitting that there are risks in the offshore banking and financial services industry, Mr. St. Rose concludes that risks are in domestic banking as well but such risks can be managed by co-operating with the regulatory authorities.