JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has again invited unregulated investment schemes to formalize their operations by registering with the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
The Finance Minister, who was speaking at Mayberry Investment’s first investors’ seminar for 2008 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday (Jan.16), said that move is to ensure transparency in the activities of these institutions.
“Register with the FSC, provide the information that is required in any normal above board operation. Don’t give us (all) your trade secrets, but show us your balance sheets, show us your profit and loss (accounts), show us your level of liquidity, (and) show us your capital adequacy,” Mr. Shaw urged.
He noted that reluctance or failure on the part of unregulated investment entities to register their operations, could have dire consequences for investors.
“It means that what you (as investors) are doing is relying on the assurance of a person or a set of persons, as (it relates) to the integrity of the operation. If somebody does not want to reveal any details of their operations to anybody, including the depositors, look out, something is wrong.
Transparency, that’s the order of the day,” he argued.The Minister noted that the FSC, “is not the enemy of investors, but has a mandate, on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica, to protect the investments of the people.”
“If you are taking people’s money and you run into any problems, there ought to be some capital adequacy so that funds can be distributed back to depositors,” Mr. Shaw pointed out.
In the final analysis, he said, Jamaica is a free market, in which persons make decisions that they deem to be in their best interest but “no one can say the FSC has not been discharging its statutory duty to warn people about the risks attendant with some of these schemes that are not regulated and unregistered.”
In the meantime, the Finance Minister told the meeting that registration is one of four fundamental approaches, which government will be employing to deal with unregulated investment schemes.
The other approaches are enforcement, a review of the existing legislative framework, and soliciting assistance from multi and bi-lateral agencies in establishing a regulatory framework.