Regulation coming for Barbados financial services sector

By added on 11/03/2011

The Barbados Government has established a Financial Services Commission, which has been tasked with the role of regulating and supervising the operations of the non-banking financial sector, Caribbean 360 reports. 

A Bill has been passed in Parliament to give birth to the new entity and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean, speaking at the launch of CAPITA Financial Service Inc., said the commission is expected to oversee the work of the non-financial services sector in much the same way as the Central Bank supervises the banking sector.  

"The creation of this new entity entails the strengthening and consolidation of the functions carried out by the Supervisor of Insurance, the credit union arm of the Cooperatives Department and the Securities Commission," Senator McClean said, adding that it would also serve as an advisory body to the Ministry responsible for international business.

"Government is satisfied that with this new body, together with the Central Bank, Barbados now has in place a supervisory and regulatory regime that is efficient and effective enough to govern the country's overall financial system and ensure that it continues to operate at a standard that satisfies best practices.”

However, McClean was quick to point out that the establishment of a regulatory body was not an indication of problems in the non-financial services sector, but a move to streamline and enhance the economy.

"Let me hasten to say that the credit union movement, from its inception, has been highly regulated, but as we become more sophisticated in our operations, the level of regulation has to change [and] the degree and scope of regulation has to be enhanced,” she said.

"The creation of this new body is not intended to restrict the practices of private sector organisations and third sector organisations - as I like to call [financial] cooperatives, as they seek to deliver service to Barbadians.  It is meant to encourage prudent corporate principles which will preserve their long-term stability and secure the financial services sector.”

Minister McClean also reassured cooperatives that Government remained cognisant of the need to protect the interests of customers and investors and was aware of the importance of avoiding the creation of supervisory and regulatory regimes, which would stifle and discourage investment.