JIS News

The Financial Services Commission has called for a centralized approach to the regulation of financial services under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Everton McFarlane, Director, Research and Policy at the FSC, said that the region needed a “formal arrangement for monitoring and applying international supervisory principles and standards, that would facilitate a much better and more organized information flow” and has suggested that the Association of Caribbean Securities Regulators (ACSR) could perform that role.
Mr. McFarlane, who was speaking at the second annual conference of the ACSR held recently at the Jamaica Conference Centre, further suggested that a regional memoranda of understanding (MoU) between regulators in CARICOM member states as well as the development of a regional crisis management plan, would be useful mechanisms to achieve this centralized approach.
“This formal and centralized approach should avoid political quagmire,” he stated, adding that, “it should include regional MoUs between Caribbean regulators, whereby they can access information on any financial service operating regionally and internationally and whereby they can pool resources to foresee and respond to crisis in the sector.”
According to Mr. McFarlane, this approach differed from that of the European Union (EU), which he said, had chosen a four-tiered regulatory approach.
Explaining, he said that on level one, the EU sets the legislative framework for the operation of financial services, then the implementation decisions were made by an expert committee made up of ministers of finance. Another committee, constituted of national supervisors, gave instructions on how to implement the measures, after which the private sector joins with the EU and national supervisors in monitoring the implementation process, to ensure that they were consistent for all member states.
By January 2006, CARICOM member states would have had to implement all the required legislation for the Single Market. The Single Economy aspect is however earmarked for 2008.
Presently, three CARICOM member states are fully compliant. These are Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Guyana and Suriname have pledged to be fully compliant by year-end.