A step in the right direction
Dr Nigel Clarke (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Dear Editor,

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) notes the announcements by the Government of Jamaica in response to the alleged fraud at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).

Given the devastating impact of this incident, we reiterate the importance of restoring and retaining public confidence within the financial sector. As Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke noted, administrations have failed to successfully arrest and prosecute individuals who were allegedly responsible during previous criminal financial schemes. Therefore, his commitment to full transparency in handling this matter is a welcomed first step and should be recognised as critical in helping to restore public confidence in our governance process.

To this end, we welcome the announcements made for critical reforms, including tightening regulations and implementing firmer sanctions to dissuade infractions in the sector.

Additionally, the PSOJ views the changes to the board of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) as solid and positive indicators for reshaping the existing challenges within the industry.

The PSOJ also anticipates greater penalties for white-collar crimes, which are eroding the financial sector's foundation.

Transparency and efficiency are important to the thorough and expedient probe of this alleged case of fraud, as such we welcome the investigative and forensic expertise from international bodies.

Further, we note Minister Clarke's announcement to move the financial sector's supervision to the Twin Peak Model to implement a more efficient and applicable structure to the Jamaican landscape.

We recognise that this initial step serves to restore a great deal of confidence and calm within the sector. While we accept that there can be challenges with this model, as seen in other jurisdictions, we believe the advantages outweigh the potential risks it may pose on the financial system if implemented in consultation with all stakeholders in the industry.

Nevertheless, we would want to have an appreciation as to the long-term repercussions and considerations that would be taken into account when implementing the model.

It is imperative that we remain strident in addressing all instances of crime and corruption to guard against its impact in undermining the social fabric of Jamaica.

Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica

Kingston 10

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