Ministry & BMA Form ‘Financial Policy Council’

December 8, 2015

Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Bob Richards and CEO of the Bermuda Monetary Authority Jeremy Cox announced the formation of the Financial Policy Council.

“The Council is an advisory body for the Ministry of Finance and the Bermuda Monetary Authority and will further promote financial system stability in Bermuda,” the Ministry said.

“More specifically, the Council will provide input into the macroprudential oversight processes, advise on the further development of the financial stability framework in Bermuda and make policy recommendations designed to support the general economic, and fiscal well-being of the country as well as its financial stability.”

The Council has been established under a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] between the Ministry and the BMA signed by the Minister of Finance and the CEO of the Authority in September 2015.

Members Of The Council

Members of the Council will be: the Minister of Finance [Chair], Sir Andrew Large [Deputy Chair], Mr. Cox, Sir Courtney Blackman and Mr. Michael Butt OBE.

Sir Andrew is a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and now an advisor to central banks and governments; Sir Courtney is the former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados and Ambassador for Barbados to the United States; and Mr. Butt has had a long career in the Bermuda-based global insurance industry and is currently Chairman of the Board of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited.

Minister Richards’ Comments

“The formation of the Council represents an important step in further strengthening the financial stability framework in Bermuda,” said Minister Richards. “In today’s uncertain global economic environment, it is essential that we remain focused on maintaining the health of the financial sector in Bermuda – and the potential risks to the economy.

“All countries, including Bermuda, are facing threats to their financial stability and many are responding to them. For us in Bermuda this development represents a vital move further to underpin our own financial stability.”

“The external members of the Council bring a wealth of experience both in Bermuda and internationally,” said Minister Richards. “They will provide important insights as we adopt and implement international standards.

“Indeed, while the framework for financial stability in Bermuda has improved significantly since the days of the global financial crisis, we are determined to remain vigilant looking ahead. The Council will represent a vital ingredient in our overall ability to respond to the threats faced by Bermuda today and in the future. ’

Jeremy Cox’s Comments

Mr. Cox said: “At the Authority, we welcome the opportunity to partner with the Minister and his team in this initiative. We are re-establishing Bermuda as a global leader in financial services and it is critical that existing customers and those considering doing business in Bermuda see us as a jurisdiction where safety, soundness and fiscal credibility have top priority.

“Bermudians must continue to feel that their hard-earned assets are safe and secure and that decision-taking as it relates to Bermuda’s long-term financial stability is of the highest standard. This work is key to the Authority’s objective of maintaining financial stability and the soundness of financial institutions in Bermuda, as well as being aligned with supporting Bermuda’s role as a leading international financial centre.”

Ministry’s Comments

The Ministry said, “The formation of the Council will overarch a strategic project begun five years ago to strengthen the financial stability framework in Bermuda.

“Prudential standards and supervision practices are being aligned with recently strengthened international standards established by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

“In 2011, the Authority formed a dedicated macroprudential monitoring and analysis function to provide early warnings and take necessary mitigating actions to enhance its existing regulatory framework.

“The same year the Authority completed legislative preparation to enable the bank deposit insurance scheme and the Deposit Insurance Act 2011 was passed by Parliament, with a view to bolstering Bermuda’s financial safety net.

“More recently, the Financial Stability Committee [FSC], a committee comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and BMA, was established to provide a supporting role to the Council including in relation to implementing its recommendations.

“These will relate to the early warning functions of the macroprudential dimension, but will extend to further development of the recovery and resolution regime in accordance with standards laid down by the Financial Stability Board set up in Basel by the G20.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Bermyman says:

    Good move, the more expertise the better.

  2. Black Soil says:

    The Number One threat to our financial system is NOT the threat from without but rather the threat from withIN. We have all seen the Auditor General’s report on the rampant abuse that our OWN did to us in recent times.