Credit Union movement eagerly awaiting final set of BOJ supervisory regulations

Credit Union movement eagerly awaiting final set of BOJ supervisory regulations

Incremental implementation of regulations over many years

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business writer

Sunday, August 09, 2020

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The island's 25 credit unions are eagerly awaiting the final set of Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) regulations, which will give the central bank full supervisory function over the movement.

The central bank has been touting over the past 21 years full regulatory supervision of credit unions and have been incrementally putting in place regulations to effect this change. The first set of regulations was drafted in November 1999 with the full package yet to be put in place.

The Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League (JCCUL), which up to prior years had full supervisory function of credit unions, is anticipating that the remaining BOJ regulations will come into effect sometime next year.

JCCUL Chief Executive Officer Robin Levy pointed out that COVID-19, among other things, caused the regulations to be pushed back.

“Last year we knew it (BOJ regulations) wouldn't have been passed and we told the credit unions that we expected it would have been passed this year but the calendar has again been interrupted with COVID-19 and the raft of legislation they (BOJ) had to do,” Levy told a recent Jamaica Observer business forum. He is anticipating that the legislations will be in place next year after the general election.

In spite of the long time in which it is taking for the BOJ to have full regulatory oversight of the island's credit unions, the JCCUL CEO emphasised that his members are incrementally moving towards full BOJ regulations. “We are actually looking forward to it (full BOJ oversight) as it will bring great benefits,” Levy underscored.

He explained that over the last 12-15 years the credit unions have been effectively abiding by all the BOJ regulatory standards and requirements and have been reporting to the BOJ accordingly.

Levy made the point that the central bank has found the credit unions to be doing well and thus they (credit unions) are not in any way afraid of BOJ's regulatory compliance.

“In fact, it's about time we need to get it (regulations) done…the fact is that credit unions are well capitalised and as you are hearing, we are well managed and therefore (it) regulations are not really high on the agenda. And we don't think that credit unions present a significant risk and therefore the BOJ is fine…” Levy told the Jamaica Observer business team at the business forum, held at the JCCUL Manhattan Road, Kingston 5 headquarters.

In concluding, Levy remarked that over the transitionary period “the BOJ have come to understand what makes a credit union and not a bank and the credit unions have come to appreciate what the BOJ is trying to achieve through the regulations.”


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