January 11, 2017

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority Holds Bank De-risking Discussions in DC

(CNS Business): Ministry of Financial Services and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) officials recently held a second round of meetings in Washington DC with key US Congressional staff, regulators and stakeholders about bank de-risking from the Caribbean perspective. The Cayman officials then contributed to Financial Stability Board discussions on an action plan to address the issue.

“It’s important to continue these talks because de-risking is still creating unintended, detrimental effects globally,” Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said in a release from his ministry. “We had our own taste of it when it disrupted our money services business in 2015, and the people of Cayman certainly remember their relief when the issue was resolved.”

He noted that Cayman’s banking sector fully supports the ministry’s efforts to influence broader developments in de-risking by engaging with stakeholders internationally.

In DC, Cayman’s delegation comprised Department of Financial Services Senior Legislative Policy Advisor André Ebanks, as well as CIMA’s Deputy Managing Director (Supervision) Anna McLean and Policy Division Head Justine Plenkiewicz.

During the early December visit, the delegation met representatives of the US Department of State; the World Bank, including US Executive Director for the World Bank Group Matt McGuire; senior Democratic staff for the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services; senior staff for Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Chairman for Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection; and representatives of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

On 12 December in Nassau, Bahamas, CIMA’s Managing Director Cindy Scotland and Ebanks attended the Financial Stability Board’s Regional Consultative Group for the Americas meeting. CIMA, which regulates Cayman’s financial services industry, is a member of the consultative group.

During the meeting, Scotland and Ebanks contributed to the FSB’s discussions on the impact of reductions in correspondent banking relationships in the Americas, according to a release from the FSB.

The group discussed the FSB’s action plan to assess and address the withdrawal of correspondent banking services. In particular the group considered the impact of reductions in correspondent banking relationships in the Americas and a proposal for the RCG to establish a new working group on the broader issues of “de-risking” in some parts of the region.

Ebanks said that overall, the DC and FSB discussions were open and informative.

“Bank de-risking was clearly important to meeting participants, and as a result it’s gaining momentum as a focus area,” he said.

Minister Panton said that government would continue supporting international efforts to resolve the unintended effects of de-risking.