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  • The Financial System Stability Committee (FSSC) of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has endorsed initiatives being undertaken by the institution to ensure adequate foreign currency and Jamaica Dollar liquidity, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • Measures to this end include the BOJ’s collaboration with commercial banks to ensure that there is no disruption to critical banking and payment services, by making available the real time gross settlement system, which facilitates electronic payments.
  • Governor, Richard Byles, said that the central bank also asked financial institutions to defer any extraordinary investment transactions that could adversely impact the price of foreign exchange, until the COVID-19 onset has been curtailed.

The Financial System Stability Committee (FSSC) of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has endorsed initiatives being undertaken by the institution to ensure adequate foreign currency and Jamaica Dollar liquidity, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Measures to this end include the BOJ’s collaboration with commercial banks to ensure that there is no disruption to critical banking and payment services, by making available the real time gross settlement system, which facilitates electronic payments.

Governor, Richard Byles, said that the central bank also asked financial institutions to defer any extraordinary investment transactions that could adversely impact the price of foreign exchange, until the COVID-19 onset has been curtailed.

“Importantly, I want to remind everyone that the country has adequate foreign exchange reserves, in excess of US$3.5 billion. We will continue to work with the banks and cambios to ensure that ample foreign exchange is available to meet the needs of businesses,” he said.

In a statement on Wednesday (April 1), the FSSC said that while the COVID-19 pandemic may create “new challenges” for managing financial system stability, it is optimistic that the BOJ’s measures “will support normal functioning of the financial system, including the payment system, during this challenging period”.

“Furthermore, the Bank will continue to evaluate the financial market conditions and take the necessary steps to minimise disorder in the financial system,” the Committee’s statement further indicated.

The FSSC is a statutory committee established under Section 34H of the Bank of Jamaica Act.

Its tasks include reviewing developments in the financial system and the economic environment, advising on macro-prudential policy, engaging with stakeholders, and providing oversight of financial stability assessments prepared by BOJ staff.

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