Sarah tests system of Kingdom’s responsibilities in ‘de-risking’ case

Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams


PHILIPSBURG – Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams sent a letter to the Kingdom government requesting the Kingdom Council of Ministers’ views on the matter of derisking by foreign banks.

Wescot-Williams sent her letter via St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance Richard Gibson, as “there are no procedural instruments to channel such questions.”

The St. Maarten MP argues that this matter, given its importance and the reliance on the Dutch government for its support, should be seen as a guarantee function of the Kingdom government.

“Often the contentious guarantee function is seen as a way by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to impose the will of the Kingdom government, but what about guaranteeing the legal certainty (rechtszekerheid) of the citizens, which I believe an issue such as derisking by foreign banks directly affects?” she asked.

This derisking continues to be an issue of serious concern for the entire Caribbean region, as enforcement by foreign banks could cut off the national financial systems from the rest of the world.

Before asking the Finance Minister to forward her question to the Kingdom government, MP Wescot-Williams asked Minister Gibson to expound on his assertion that the Dutch government was “not cooperative.”

“His answers strengthened my argument that the Kingdom government must step up to the plate,” she said.

In her letter to the Kingdom Council of Ministers the MP queries the Council’s awareness of the derisking dilemma, and calls the Kingdom Council out on the guarantee function to protect the livelihood of St. Maarten’s citizens.

“The Kingdom Council of Ministers surely cannot say they have not been asked. Let’s see how the democratic deficit plays out,” the MP concluded.