Image result for Caribbean leaders United Nations General AssemblyGaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that, along with

climate change and lingering indebtedness, Caribbean islands face another existential threat from the withdrawal by global banks of

correspondent banking relations to their financial institutions.

In the global campaign against money-laundering and terrorist financing, very strict penalties have been imposed on banks by

regulatory bodies in North America and Europe for any infringement of the stringent regulations.

Gaston explained that in this environment, where even the slightest infraction could expose a bank to a fine of hundreds of millions of

dollars, many have chosen to withdraw essential correspondent banking relations from financial institutions in the Caribbean, Central

America and Africa. He added that this process is called de-risking, however he calls it economic destruction.

Browne said while this trend is prevalent in a few regions, it will spread with global consequences unless checked by collective action.