Banks must reinvest more in society


Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance, Trade and the Economy Farley Augustine at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough. – THA Info Dept

Banks need to reinvest more in the society.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine made the declaration at Sunday’s Chat with Chief hosted by the Finance Literacy Secretariat at his Lowlands residence, in commemoration of Financial Literacy Month. The event was centred on improving the youths’ financial literacy and was attended by the executives from youth organisations across the island.

Augustine said corporate social responsibility is important as he wondered how much of banks’ quarterly profits are reinvested in society.

“I am coming to you to save my money. Saving money does not make you rich, just putting the money down in the bank does not make you rich. All you’re doing is just setting yourself up for when you die, your children to cuss and fight over who should get it and then they go down by Belgrove and pick up the most expensive casket and spend out all the money you save all your life.”

He said people should be focused on putting their funds to “productive use” by making it make money for them.

He said a development bank is crucial to help communities.

“My challenge with the financial institutions is that they collect all of these monies from people savings and not enough is coming back into the system to fund start-ups, to fund economic activities on the island, and that is even more reason why we need that development bank – critical.”

He said as a result of the covid19, Tobago businesses have lost significant sums of money, noting that he is not certain that the financial institutions considered how much more difficult it is for a Tobago business to survive. Adding that this adds even more justification for the development bank.

“The banks would still be there for you to get your nice cars and to build your big houses, because we know Tobagonians like to build big houses, but the development bank will be about funding development projects so we can do that on the government side and it would get large enough where other territories would start investing in our development bank and trying to get funding from out of our development bank – but one of the primary reasons for it is to support local businesses.”

He encouraged young people to plan properly, organise their lives and take measured steps in order to have a successful future, noting that financial literacy is a key element in ensuring that one’s future is secured.

Speakers on the day included financial coach and advisor Crystal Celestine; financial education instructor, EVOLVE, Alana Alleyne; business coach and advisor Jason Arthur; along with director of Iconic Events and president of the Tobago Motorsport Association Dexter Sandy.

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