World Economy

Cuban Banks Getting Closer to Private Sector

Cuban Banks Getting Closer to Private SectorCuban Banks Getting Closer to Private Sector

Cuba’s banking system has begun to take steps to help the island’s private sector as the process of “updating the economic model” moves forward.

The Cuban banking industry announced this week that its new services would become available via Internet for self-employed workers and private entrepreneurs. That is an option previously reserved only for legal entities, Xinhua reported.

The facilitation measure was promoted by the People’s Savings Bank with a view to get closer to the private sector, according to official daily Granma.

The newspaper highlighted that the banking service, a practice common in other countries, was made available “almost two months ago” for the sector.

“Emerging economic stakeholders can carry out funds transfers, receive information about the state of their current accounts and check their last 10 transactions,” said Greicher La Nuez, director of the BPA’s business banking services.

“Now it is easier for them to operate their deposits through a website, which they can access from any part of Cuba,” added La Nuez, who added that the BPA is looking to increase these services with new benefits.

“Apart from encouraging bank loans, providing attractive service is fundamental in bringing banks closer to the private sector,” as its relations with the financial institutions “are still weak,” said La Nuez.

Bank loans were re-introduced on the island in 2011 after four decades, as part of the country’s economic reform process. However, they have still not become an important source of funding in the private sector.