House Approves Actions Taken By BoJ


A Bill was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday (October 5), to validate and confirm acts done in good faith by the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) in enforcing the provisions of the Banking Regulations of 1973, for the period December 31, 1992 to November 4, 2003.
This is notwithstanding the repeal of the Banking Act of 1960, under which the regulations were made. The Bill seeks to indemnify persons from liability in respect of such acts.
Piloting the Bill in the House, State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson explained that in 1992, there were a series of amendments to the Banking Act of 1960.
“In undertaking the amendments, it was the Bank’s understanding at the time that on the repeal of the Banking Act of 1960, and the enactment of the new Banking Act in 1992, the regulations accompanying the Act were also under review as is the case with all regulations. However, the Bank was subsequently advised by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel that the repealed Regulations were not in fact re-enacted in December 1992, when the new Banking Act came into effect. This would have the effect of rendering void, any action purportedly taken under the repealed Regulations,” he said.
To correct this lacuna in the law, the new Banking (Licence Fee) Regulations were prepared, and these came into effect on November 5, 2003.
However, Mr. Jackson said a difficulty still existed in relation to the period between the date of repeal of the previous regulations and the date on which the new regulations came into effect. As such, he said the advice of the Solicitor General had been sought as to the likely repercussions of this omission and of entities being asked to comply with regulations that were not in effect; and what the recommended course of action should be to correct such a situation.
“Based on the advice received, Cabinet’s approval was sought as a matter of urgency for legislation under which the actions of the Bank would be validated and the officials indemnified for those actions taken during the period December 31, 1992 to November 4, 2004,” the State Minister explained.
The Bill was subsequently drafted and approved by the Legislation Committee of Cabinet at its June 2 meeting this year.
“This Bill seeks to bring completeness to the repeal of the 1960 Banking Act in 1992, and indemnify all actions taken by the Bank using the forms of the previous Act in the new Act of 1992 as of 2003 and the period when the Act was passed,” Mr. Jackson further stated.

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