Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Credit Bureau (CCB) Grady Clarke has launched a verbal attack on the Barbados Bankers’ Association (BBA), saying it should stay out of the credit bureau business and stick to banking.
Clarke has also strongly hinted at moves to stop to the association’s plan to have an international credit bureau set up business in Barbados.
At a town hall meeting on Tuesday night, at which Clarke was present and voiced objections, BBA Vice President Ian De Souza announced that the association was currently examining the proposals of two international entities to decide which one it would be allowing to establish the local credit information sharing system.
Requests for proposals were sent to five companies, including the CCB, which was the only company not to respond.
However, in defending that decision, Clarke said the requirements alone were purposely designed to eliminate his firm.
Bruised by the news that an international firm would be brought in to do the job, an animated Clarke told reporters at a media conference today that his 24-year-old firm was more than capable of providing the required service.
As he prepares to step up his resistance to the plan with a campaign on social media, he warned the bankers that he would be behaving just like United States president Donald Trump.
He is also appealing to the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for support in his cause.
“I say to CARICOM and Prime Minister [Keith] Mitchell, as the chair of CARICOM . . . please give me your ear so I can explain to you that inviting credit bureaus to own our information for us, then to purchase that information again with foreign exchange instead of building local capacity and create local jobs, is wrong,” said Clarke, while accusing the BBA of trying to “take away” opportunities from him to grow his operations.
Clarke argued that an international firm would only drain the island’s foreign exchange and send jobs overseas.
Pointing out that he had some long-serving employees, Clarke cried shame on the commercial banks.
“Shame on you for trying to take away their jobs. This is bare foolishness. And then export the little foreign exchange we have,” he said.
The CCB, which offers training and consultation services, currently operates with about ten employees, as well as a number of volunteers.