Timothy O'Toole Discusses Financial Institution Reluctance to Process Transactions in Wake of Relaxed Cuba Embargo in FCPAméricas Blog

"Travel to Cuba: OFAC Encourages Reluctant Banks to Allow US Persons to Access Their Accounts"
FCPAméricas Blog
12.22.15In this blog post, Timothy O'Toole discusses how financial institutions have adapted to the new era of relaxed Cuban embargos. "Without financing, it would be hard for any policy designed to increase travel to Cuba -- as this new Cuba policy explicitly is -- to succeed," O'Toole said. "Unfortunately, as many have reported, the financing has been slow to come around, which has meant that many American travelers to Cuba are still required to deal exclusively, or almost exclusively, in cash, because their banks will not process credit and debit card transactions." The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has attempted to resolve this problem by sending out a new FAQ on what banks must to do provide financing for Cuba travelers and described a number of things U.S. financial institutions are now permitted to do in processing transactions related to authorized Cuba travel. "It is the responsibility of the travel or carrier services and the traveler -- not the banks -- to ensure that travel to Cuba is 'authorized,'" O'Toole said, adding it "may be good news for Cuba travelers, since it may make it easier for the banks to start letting those credit and debit cards work on the Island."
Related Files
Related Links