Barbados seeks to enhance regulatory framework
During 2013, the Central Bank of Barbados (Bank) continued to enhance its regulatory framework in response to emerging international standards and best practices and to collaborate with other domestic regulators and stakeholders on various national issues, including the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes Peer Review and Financial Action Task Force initiatives. The Bank also maintained its close working relationships with other local, regional and international regulatory bodies, and continued to contribute to the regional financial stability project being undertaken by CARICOM.
The Bank continued its annual visits to Canada to attend meetings with Canadian banks, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders in Toronto and Ottawa. The Bank benefits from this dialogue through gaining valuable insights into future plans and strategies of the Canadian banks and engaging in vibrant discussion and collaboration on matters of common concern. Similarly, the Bank continued to attend regulatory colleges and engaged in quarterly conference calls with regional and international regulators and was represented on regional regulatory Working Groups to discuss matters such as regional crisis management and Basel II/III.
The Bank remains active in regional and international fora, (such as the Caribbean Group of Bank Supervisors, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas and the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors (formerly Offshore Group of Bank Supervisors) where issues pertinent to global standards and international financial matters are discussed.
The Bank continued its efforts with the implementation of Basel II/III. Progress has been made with the implementation of the Market Risk Amendment with licensees participating in a reporting trial. Pillar 2 was also advanced with the development and update of the Corporate Governance Guideline in 2013, which was first issued in October 2006. The Guideline sets out the Bank’s expectations in relation to the minimum standards for corporate governance practices by all licensees and forms an integral part in assessing the effectiveness of corporate governance practices. The Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Terrorist Financing Guideline was also updated in October 2013 to reflect a series of developments with the FATF Recommendations, Guidance and Best Practice papers.
In addition, the Department issued the draft Interest Rate Risk in the Banking Book Management Guideline to the industry for comments. The Guideline outlines the minimum policies and procedures required by each licensee in the management of interest rate risk in the banking book. The Framework for Licensing of Financial Institutions which sets out the Bank’s criteria for licensing entities under the FIA and IFSA, the licensing process and the customary documentation to be provided by clients was also issued in 2013. The Bank’s website was updated with comprehensive information on the application process.
Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP)
The 2013 FSAP assessment was conducted and covered the assessments of the banking, insurance and credit unions sectors. The FSAP focused on assessing regulatory compliance with international standards, gaining an understanding of systemic issues and assessing the resilience of the entire financial system to withstand internal and external factors. The Financial System Stability Assessment Report is scheduled to be published in February 2014.