Don’t get me wrong. I love the Caribbean. Nevertheless, it seems that, the more things change, is the more they are destined to remain the same.
There still exists a certain malaise that encapsulates the conduct of legitimate business in this part of the world. Arguably, every country has its red tape that is designed to promote transparency and accountability. Yet, it seems that successive regional governments (and local institutions) can’t get it right...or perhaps, I daresay, refuse to get it right and are prepared to frustrate the living daylights out of the majority of citizens and residents.
Case in point, is the burdensome requirements of having two forms of government-issued ID to conduct what should be seemingly routine transactions, such as opening a bank account. This requirement, though grounded in accountability, is quite farcical and presumptuous.
What about those persons who don’t travel outside of their country? Surely, they would not have (or have the need for a passport). Likewise, what about those persons who either don’t drive a vehicle, or even care to learn to drive a vehicle? Therefore, it is more than likely that, they are not going to be in possession of a driver’s permit. Yet, several public and private institutions still insist on making this requirement almost sacrosanct.
Then of course, there is the vexing, frivolous and downright unnecessary stipulation in my respectful view, of a utility bill—and, the requirements are rather specific: either an electricity (i.e. a ‘light’ bill), a water bill, or, a telephone bill. Don’t even bother to present a cable or Internet bill in YOUR name, or even a bank statement, in some cases- and, ensure that it’s a hard copy. Soft copies generally wouldn’t suffice, even when we are seeking to become a ‘digitalized society’ and even when one does NOT seek to apply for a loan. Is this fair? Is this practical? Is this action lending to greater credibility, trust and confidence on the part of the receiving entity?
Just imagine, relocating to the USA (with its seemingly million a rules and forms for just about every aspect of life). You have no utility bill and also do not have two forms of government-issued ID. Yet, you’re still able to not only open a bank account, but, able to do so within a matter of weeks!
By comparison, the insane, dis-ease riddled modus operandi of conducting everyday business in this part of the world in that regard for locals and the newly-landed, is an exercise in Job-like patience. Even with the ‘ton-load’ of hard copies you provide, rest assured that, your business is likely not going to be completed in a matter of minutes, or even within 24 hours.
Yet, how have those requirements improved the delivery of products and services? Precious little, especially when one considers that some transactions still stretch beyond weeks, months and even years to conclude. Likewise, consider the level of public dissatisfaction that still abounds.
How to resolve this dis-ease? Dispense with it, post-haste!
Keywords: LinkedIn Local Caribbean, bureaucracy, requirements, business, practicality