PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) - Finance Minister Colm Imbert Wednesday acknowledged that the decision by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to temporary suspend the exchange of Trinidad and Tobago dollars at its banking counter was "to review its arrangements" with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).
Imbert, in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), said that the amount traded in Trinidad and Tobago dollars in Jamaica "equals only US$4,000 per month".
In his statement, Imbert took issue with a local newspaper, which he said published an article Wednesday "describing that small sum as evidence of a currency crisis".
"How irresponsible," the finance minister said, adding that "all this drama over such a small amount of forex [foreign exchange] was making a mountain out of a molehill, creating anxiety for no reason".
The BOJ had said that as of November 6, the exchange of Trinidad and Tobago dollars at its banking counter is suspended until further advised. The BOJ, which is also the country's central bank, gave no specific reason for the review and that this temporary suspension will remain in effect until further notice.
But it said that the suspension "is due to the fact that the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, to which this currency is repatriated, has suspended the arrangements for the repatriation of T&T dollars until further advised.
"Bank of Jamaica will advise of any further developments," the statement added.
The CBTT has so far given no reasons as to why it suspended the arrangements.