Stonegate Bank, will host the Cuban government's finances.
English: Coat of arms of Cuba. Español: Escudo de Cuba. Русский: Герб Кубы. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stonegate Bank, a Florida-based bank that opened only a decade ago, will host the Cuban government's finances.
It's another step forward in renewing U.S.-Cuba ties that will make it easier for Cuba to eventually reestablish an official embassy in the U.S.
Cuba closed its embassy in the late 1950s. U.S. and Cuban officials are testifying before Congress this week, lobbying to gain approval for the reopening of embassies in the two nations.
"We hope this is the initial step to normalize banking ties between the two countries, which will benefit American companies wanting to do business in Cuba, as well as the Cuban people," Stonegate CEO Dave Seleski said in a statement.
Investors liked this development too: Stonegate(SGBK) stock is up 4% since the news first broke Wednesday.
President Obama began the process of normalizing relations with Cuba in December. Cuba currently has an office in Washington D.C., which has been without a bank for over a year and a half.
One of the biggest hurdles to reunite ties between the U.S. and Cuba is getting their finances on the same page. Many American business leaders have expressed interest going to Cuba, but want to see more financial infrastructure -- American banks in Havana -- before going.
"This is good news, and a long time coming, finally allowing us to move past what has been a stumbling block in the normalization conversations," says Alana Tummino, policy director at the Americas Society.
Stonegate is small regional bank headquartered in Pompano Beach, Fla. It has 21 locations, all in Florida.
Some American businesses already have a virtual footprint in Cuba. Airbnb and Netflix(NFLX,Tech30) are now available in Cuba, although few Cubans have Internet access. Jetblue(JBLU)announced earlier in May that it will offer once-a-week flights between New York and Cuba. Credit cards are also making a push into Havana.
But banks have hesitated to work with Cuba until Stonegate.
Latin American leaders long criticized U.S. presidents for what they called an imperialist approach to the region. But they've warmed up to President Obama now that the end of America's embargo against Cuba is in sight.
"Where Do We Go From Here?"
Posted Oct. 23, 2011, 9:32 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt On the one month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Ed David went to Liberty Plaza to find out where the movement will go next.
Director ED DAVID
Producer DANA SALVATORE
Cinematography ED DAVID & ANDREW MCMULLEN
Editors LILY HENDERSON & ED DAVID
Assistant Producer JILLIAN MASON
Typically, acquiring banks and processors have processes in place to ensure that rule changes are identified and the appropriate changes made, they note in an unpublished article. Confusion over whether the new rules were indeed rules or just ‘best practices’ has caught many in the industry off-guard. As a result, many processors may already be unknowingly in breach of the new rules.
One rule is that payment processors must now create a fee disclosure schedule to include with merchant applications and agreements. That includes fees such as the merchant discount rate, pass-through rates, interchange plus mark-up rates, bundled pricing plans, and fees for tiered, qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified rates, along with authorization and settlement fees.
While many processors might believe their current applications are in compliance with this rule, they likely are not, the attorneys note. The problem is that the fee disclosure must clearly and conspicuously detail the methodology …
Proposed Contaminated Fill Site
Thank you for taking interest in the future of our community, it’s watershed, Shawnigan Creek, Shawnigan Lake and our childrens future.
South Island Aggregates (S.I.A.) is presently operating two mine sites (Lots 23 & 21 in Goldstream Heights)
The mine site is at 460 Stebbings Road with access via a gated bridge over Shawnigan Creek. They are located within the “Shawnigan Lake Watershed Protection Area” right along the west bank of Shawnigan Creek.
S.I.A. has applied for a license through the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to import and bury contaminatedwaste on this mine site.
This contaminated material will be trucked in from all over the island with most other municipalities using this facility to dispose of their unwanted contaminated material.
S.I.A. estimates a life span of 50 years and 100,000 tons per year of contaminated waste trucked to and dumped into our watershed. That’s “FIVE MILLION TONS” of contaminated waste dumped in our waters…