Senate passes Bank of Jamaica Act

Saturday, November 18, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Senate, on Friday, passed the Bank of Jamaica (Amendment) Act, 2017, during its sitting at Gordon House.

The legislation will facilitate an extension of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor's tenure by at least two years.

At the conclusion of the extension, the post will be advertised and the Governor-General, in counsel, will appoint a new Governor to serve for a period not less than seven years.

Current Governor, Brian Wynter, whose contract expires soon, was initially appointed in 2009.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who piloted the Bill in the Upper House, underscored the importance of the incumbent Governor's continuation at the helm of the Central Bank in light of “crucial reforms” which he said are being undertaken at the institution.

Senator Charles, who noted that the reforms are being programmed for conclusion within the next two to three years, said meeting this timeline requires “considerable work and full engagement of the leadership of the Bank.”

The State Minister further stated that the BoJ's restructuring is at a “critical juncture”, adding that it will be advantageous for the incumbent to remain in charge.

Charles assured that Wynter has the confidence of the Government, financial sector, wider public, and external partners.

This, he said, against the background of the Governor's involvement in engagements by the Government to establish a fiscal rules regime, modernise the foreign exchange market and stabilise the rate of inflation, among other pivotal targets.

These are key to Jamaica's economic reform programme that has been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund.

The Bank of Jamaica (Amendment) Act, 2017 was passed without amendment by both Houses of Parliament.

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