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  • The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (November 1), approved the Banking Services (Deposit Taking Institutions) (Agent Banking) Regulations.
  • The regulations will provide a framework that will allow some banking business to be undertaken through agents authorised by a Supervisory Authority.
  • These include supermarkets, gas stations, hardware stores, money transfer and remittance operations, and lottery outlets.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (November 1), approved the Banking Services (Deposit Taking Institutions) (Agent Banking) Regulations.

The regulations will provide a framework that will allow some banking business to be undertaken through agents authorised by a Supervisory Authority.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, piloted the regulations in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 1).

He said the objective is to widen banking access beyond existing deposit-taking institutions’ branch networks and electronic access channels to include the use of third-party-owned locations that will offer banking services alongside their own products and services.

These include supermarkets, gas stations, hardware stores, money transfer and remittance operations, and lottery outlets.

The services to be provided are deposits and withdrawals, payment of bills and loan repayments, electronic transfer of funds, and account balance enquiries.

Mr. Shaw noted that the Agent Banking Regulations also prescribe the application process, eligibility requirements, responsibilities, obligations and other considerations that will be applicable to agent banking operations.

Some of the key requirements include information about the proposed agent’s nature of business, number of years in operation, and financial performance, including the proposed agent’s profitability.

“Other critical elements of the application include the physical and logistical security of the business or place where the activity is conducted. The audited financial statements of the proposed agent and also evidence that the proposed agent is in good regulatory standing, if regulated,” Mr. Shaw outlined.

Regulation 18 gives the Central Bank the powers of enforcement, in the event that the bank has reason to believe that there is a breach of the rules by the agent.

In addition, Regulations 19 and 20 set out the penalties for breaches.

The legislation will be sent to the Senate for its approval.