GREATER REGULATION OF BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS

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Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick. (Image: www.dlpbarbados.org)

A central regulatory body is on the cards to monitor the activities within the banking sector and the credit union movement in Barbados.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, said that the proposed change had already been discussed in Cabinet and was being evaluated and should be implemented before year-end.  At present, the proposal is being reviewed and very shortly, the departments that would fall under the regulatory system will be identified.
He made these disclosures to the media before a tour of the Department of Cooperatives, Hinck’s Street, Bridgetown offices yesterday.

Dr. Estwick said with the proposed CARICOM Single Market and Economy agreement, a regulatory body was necessary in light of increased movement of capital across the region.

“Within CARICOM, there are provisions for cross-border trading and cross-border movement of capital as we give credence to the CSME, in particular, the rules of establishment that allow for the free movement of capital. So, therefore, this requires that we look very closely at the organisational  structure that we have in place to ensure that we have a comprehensive, central, regulatory body that would not only strengthen the regulation within the banking sector itself, but also, in the non-banking sectors of which credit unions represent.”

Pointing out that the financial sector was well managed, Dr. Estwick said a regulation of the credit union movement would allow for greater protection of members’ deposits. “We want to look at a central entity that will be able to deal with a lot of the non-traditional instruments involved in investment and trading that may have caused some of the problems that now exist within the United States.”

“Thus, we have to be very careful with the systems we put in place under our central financial structure that they would be able to deal with all of those new instruments of investment and capitalisation and that is basically what the new regulation would facilitate.”

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