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  • Financial institutions will have the flexibility to open and close their doors as they see fit, under new banking regulations, which were passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 2.
  • Changes to banking hours may be permitted under the Banking Services (Hours of Opening) Regulations, 2015, as long as the institutions are open to the public for at least 25.5 hours per week.
  • It is one of several regulations required to bring into effect the Banking Services Act, passed last year, which seeks to modernise the regulatory framework within which banks operate.

Financial institutions will have the flexibility to open and close their doors as they see fit, under new banking regulations, which were passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 2.

Changes to banking hours may be permitted under the Banking Services (Hours of Opening) Regulations, 2015, as long as the institutions are open to the public for at least 25.5 hours per week.

It is one of several regulations required to bring into effect the Banking Services Act, passed last year, which seeks to modernise the regulatory framework within which banks operate.

“We are expecting the commencement of the Act this month (September) and these regulations are essential for us to be able to name a date for the Act to come into force,” said Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, while introducing the new regulations.

He noted that under the opening hours regulation, financial institutions are still required to remain closed for business on public holidays, except those that operate at the island’s two major international airports.

“If the Supervisory Committee (of the Bank of Jamaica) sees fit, it can vary opening hours and the change will be gazetted,” Dr. Phillips said.

He further noted that the new rules, which are standard internationally, also include “the re-issue of regulations that currently exist under the Banking Act and the Financial Institutions Act, with some amendments”.

He added that the effectiveness of the Act is one of the structural benchmarks to be met under the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The new regulations also deal with establishment of branches; licence fees; amalgamation and transfers; capital adequacy; deposit taking institutions; and licence application rules.

The Banking Services Act amended and consolidated the existing Banking Act, Financial Institutions Act and sections of the Building Societies Act into one governing Act.