Business Monday: Financial Services Sector celebrates 5 years, success

THE Financial Services Commission (FSC), is celebrating its 5th year anniversary this month, and has successfully fulfilled their mandate as an integrated regulatory authority. The FSC, since its establishment on April 1st, 2011, by virtue of the Financial Services Commission Act of 2010, is responsible for supervising and regulating entities in the insurance, occupational pensions, credit unions and securities sectors.  

In observation of this milestone, on Friday, the commission held a press conference to update the media on their achievements over the past 5 years, and other issues pertinent  to the FSC.

“When we started the FSC, we were in the midst of the financial crisis, and we had challenges in the domestic sector we had to correct,” said Randy Graham, CEO of the Financial Services Commission.

 He said it was necessary to strengthen a number of important provisions to facilitate their duties.  

“What we did as the FSC was to bring in a series of high qualified consultants,to review the legislative frameworks across all the sectors that we regulate.  Recommendations were put forward for amendments to strengthen the legislative framework that we have regulate.

“So we made a number of recommendations for changes to the legislation that would give us more authority to regulate.”  

According to the CEO, during the first five years of operations, the FSC issued  as much as 26 guidelines to the various sectors, covering a range of areas.  

“We would have issued guidelines in the areas of related party transaction, corporate governance, market conduct, asset management, or all of these areas that were correlated to default financial institutions in the past, so that entities operating under our remit understand what is expected of them in the areas of related parties transactions, documentation, what we expect of the board of governance, and the impact that they have on the decisions.”

“So we have put that out there, and through our onsite examinations and  our offsite management team, they’ve reviewed these things on a quarterly basis to ensure there is appropriate implementation and  quality of risk management.”

Graham said statutory funds was an issue in the past which they sought to amend, as well during their first five years of existence.

“What the FSC did was to mandate each insurance company to set up the statutory fund in trust, where the regulator is the entity that is responsible under that trust.”

“So they have a trust agreement with the bank or financial institution that is registered,” he added, “and it is to the benefit of the regulator, and we have copies of all of these trust agreements on site, and the management team and their staff will review the quantities in the statutory fund to make sure that they are up to date.”

According to the CEO, “If any entity runs into a particular challenge, we have funds in there to back it, and that was a critical element, along with the onsite regulations – we’ve completed about 40 on site examinations already.”

In five years, the Financial Service Commission successfully “Reformed the regulatory framework that they operate, and have gone one step further in the area of looking at building the capacity in the capital marketing sector,” remarked Graham.  (KW)

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