FSA celebrates anniversary with workshops
November 15, 2013
FSA celebrates anniversary with workshops

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) of St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrated its first anniversary on November 12, and marked the event by hosting two regulatory workshops, the first entitled ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Growth’ and the second, a more sector specific workshop on “Insights and Issues for the Credit Unions in SVG and the OECS”.{{more}}

A release from the FSA said the objectives of the workshops were to provide an overview of the role of the FSA and the regulatory regime in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and to engage stakeholders in discussions on matters of mutual and topical interest pertaining to the financial services sector, the regulatory regime in SVG and respective roles in promoting stability and economic growth.

According to the release, the workshops were well attended by members of the regulated financial services sector – both the international financial services and the domestic non-bank financial sector, and other stakeholders. They were facilitated by FSA management and staff, members of the regulated sectors, as well as external consultants.

In opening the first day’s workshop, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves commended the FSA for its “remarkable progress” since its establishment and commented that its legislative ambit is expected to be strengthened by revised anti money laundering legislation and harmonised insurance legislation. He indicated that the FSA had been set up as an independent statutory body and that great care had been taken in selecting persons with a high level of integrity and requisite qualifications and experience to sit on the FSA’s Board of Directors.

The workshop’s programme included a presentation on corporate governance structure and systems by Dr Valda Henry, and a panel discussion on the role of the financial sector in promoting financial stability and economic growth, moderated by Louise Mitchell-Joseph, with panellists Shafia London-Williams, Adrian Baron, Dave Grace and Rueben Gomez.

The second workshop targeted the credit union sector and was facilitated by consultant Dave Grace. Discussion and working sessions related to current trends in the sector and requirements of credit processes and delinquency reduction were addressed.

Sharda Bollers, executive director of the FSA, in commenting on the FSA’s first year anniversary, stated that just one year after its establishment, the FSA has been able to build upon its sound legislative foundation to structure a strong administrative and regulatory framework, and so set the pace for the continued development of an equally strong regulatory regime in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Mrs Bollers indicated that this was achieved with the valuable support of stakeholders, notwithstanding unprecedented challenges faced by the FSA in its first year.

Bollers further commented that the establishment of the FSA is already yielding benefits in terms of optimizing efficiencies and economies of scale, and even more significantly, allowing for the minimization of systemic risk and failure of entities in our country’s financial system.

Moving ahead, the FSA intends to organize other similar sector specific financial services consultations to engage all sectors in meaningful discussions.