HAVANA, 28 Mar. The Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C., the diplomatic entity that represents Cuba in the U.S., issued a statement saying that in spite of moves toward normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, it has still been unable to secure banking services in the U.S.
It has been a year since Cuba lost its banking services in the U.S. when M&T Bank terminated its account as of March 1, 2014. It has historically been hard for Cuba to find a bank willing to provide banking services because the regulations on doing business with sanctioned countries have been extremely complicated and consequences for errors can be costly.
But since Obama’s speech last December announcing the beginning of normalization of relations with Cuba, regulations have eased. For now, however, they have apparently not eased enough to make any banks wish to take on Cuba as a customer.
As a result of its failure to secure banking services, the Cuban consular office has extended its consular services until June 30. It will continue to operate as it has for the last year.
For U.S. tourists traveling to Cuba during the year when Cuba could not get banking services, the banking issue has not had much effect on their ability to travel. According to a statement from the Cuban Interests Section:
“The Interests Section will continue working towards a solution that allow for normalization of the work of its Consular Office, while it reiterates that services related to humanitarian situations will continue to be expedited.”