Cuba is in talks with an unnamed Florida-based bank that is expected to restore banking relationship between the two countries, according to a senior official of the US State Department.
‘For more than a year now, Cuban diplomats have had to depend on cash shipments to pay the consulate’s salaries and bills as their access to bank accounts or services had been terminated.
Cuba’s banking services were stopped in July 2013 after the US-based M&T Bank said that it would stop handling accounts of foreign interests.
While the bank gave Cuba time until March 2014 to look for a new financial institution, it stopped taking deposits from the previous month. Since then, Cuba has not been able to find new banking services.
The Cuban Interest Section, José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, visited Florida recently and it is being expected that the Cuban government will soon make an announcement.
The talks of the re-establishment of banking services comes ahead of Thursday’s talks between the US and Cuba, reported BBC.
The two countries have been working on strengthening their relations with the presidents of both the countries, Barack Obama and Raul Castro, having met recently to speak about their efforts to restore full diplomatic relations and boost trade and travel.
The US is set to remove Cuba from its list of sponsors of terrorism on 29 May.
Earlier this month, the US government lifted a ban on the plying of passenger ferries between the two countries as the country gave licenses to certain ferry companies.
Image: Cuba’s banking services were stopped in July 2013 after M&T Bank stopped handling accounts of foreign interests. Photo: courtesy of Staurt Miles/freedigitalphotos.net.