St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); Regulators and financial institutions have agreed that there are some aspects of the Banking Act passed in all Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member countries in 2015, that need to be amended.
The banking legislation, which was drafted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, has been implemented across the region, despite some opposition from institutions and government stakeholders.
According to the ECCU’s Monetary Council following its 87th meeting held in St. Kitts Thursday (Mar 2), the areas identified for amendment are Drafting clarifications, definitions, and policy issues.
ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine, speaking with WINN FM:
“Now that the banking law is in effect we, ECCB, have seen some areas where we can improve -ECCB is a regulator- and the banks also have some areas where they think there could be some improvements, so the idea is to come together and make those amendments.
The Bankers Association has in fact already submitted comments to the Central Bank for areas where it believes we need to take a look.”
The Governor gave an example of one of the issues banks have with the legislation.
“One of them is how frequently they can rotate their external auditors. I think the law says five or six years and that’s kind of short because first of all we do not have many auditors of certain international standing, the large audit firms, there aren’t too many of them here and it takes time for an auditor to learn an operation and be able to audit effectively.
“So that’s just a simple example of a change that needs to be made, an approved proposed amendment, at least, in the Banking Act.”
He said the Council’s sub-committee overseeing matters relating to the banking act will be reviewing the proposed amendments shortly with the intention of reporting back to the Monetary Council by its 88th meeting scheduled for July 2017.
“Of course the Ministerial Sub-committee will be engaging the Bankers Association in further consultations going into the April meeting and certainly in time for the preparation of the report that goes to the Council in July.”