JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, is urging the local business community to remain vigilant in view of the ongoing financial crisis in the United States of America (USA), although there is no cause for alarm in Jamaica.
“With the fallout of the sub-prime market, there is no doubt it will have its own consequential impact.” He was addressing a pension seminar yesterday (Sept. 30), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
“What I can say without any fear of contradiction, is that both from the point of view of our banking system and our financial services, including our securities dealers, we are intact and our capitalisation is adequate in both areas, and therefore, within that context there is no cause for alarm,” he assured.
He noted however, that “while there is no cause for alarm, it calls for us to be vigilant and to make sure that wherever there might be any glitches, we must be in a position to deal expeditiously with any issues that might arise.”
“I have certainly been advised by the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, that we are prepared to do whatever is necessary, in order to ensure that we protect the integrity of our financial system,” the Finance Minister informed.
Meanwhile, Acting Executive Director of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), George Roper, said in a recent statement that Jamaica is somewhat sheltered from the U.S. crisis, as a result of the financial regulations that are in place here, and that the few Jamaican companies, which may be exposed, would not see any immediate impact.
Since the gravity of the financial crisis in the United States surfaced last week, concerns have been expressed in the local media that the fallout on Wall Street, would impact Jamaica’s foreign exchange earnings, particularly remittances and tourism revenue.
The falloff in remittances, it is argued, could arise as more overseas Jamaicans become unemployed in the financial meltdown, with U.S. companies unable to borrow in the current credit squeeze, thereby forcing them to close down. Similarly, Jamaica’s tourism revenue could also be impacted, as more Americans may find it risky to book holidays in an uncertain economy.
The pension seminar was held by Prime Asset Management Limited, in association with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).