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GIS – Parliament passed the Banking Act at last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony described the bill as one of the most dramatic pieces of legislation that will be enacted in the parliaments of OECS states to regulate the region’s banking sector.
According to Dr. Anthony, the bill will reduce government’s role in various aspects of the banking sector and in effect, make the industry more self-regulatory.
“The act makes it clear that the authority to grant a licence rests solely with the Central Bank. It’s not even a situation like in the old law where the authority rested with the Minister of Finance on the advice of the Central Bank. It’s reversed. The Central Bank is to make the decision about granting a license, and only has a duty to inform the Minister of Finance that an application has been made.”
The Prime Minister said the bill will have a major impact on how banks are supervised in the region.
“You will note, too, the corrective actions and strengthened powers of the Central Bank to intervene and offer greater supervision to bring about corrective actions when banks fail to reach or satisfy potential requirements or if there are regulatory violations.”
The Prime Minister also made note of future legislation which will address the issue of toxic assets in the banking industry.