Jamaica’s Financial Systems Remain Stable, Safe, and Secure says BOJ Governor
WASHINGTON, DC – Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Mr. Richard Byles has assured Jamaicans in the Diaspora that the country’s financial systems remain stable, safe, and secure, and the banks remain adequately capitalised.
The Bank of Jamaica Governor told members of the Diaspora in the United States that “a major part of our efforts at the Bank is to bring the level of price increases back within the target range of 4.0 per cent to 6.0 percent.”
Governor Byles who was a guest on the monthly series Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks explained that “high levels of inflation negatively affect all Jamaicans, but especially the poor and fixed wage earners.
Governor Byles explained that “in addition to increasing the Bank’s Policy Interest Rate from 0.5 per cent before the pandemic to 7.0 at present, we have intervened from time to time in the foreign exchange market to smooth out demand and supply and keep the Jamaican Dollar relatively stable.”
By doing so he said, “we have limited the full impact of imported inflation that otherwise would have sent prices in Jamaica even higher.”
“The good news is that our inflation control policies seem to be working and there is beginning to be some reduction in world food prices, which together with our efforts, has resulted in inflation moderating from 11.8% in April 2022 to 8.1 per cent in January 2023. We project to return to the target 4.0 – 6.0 range by December this year,” Governor Byles said.
Turning to the well-publicized SSL fraud case, the BOJ Governor said “the case of alleged fraud at a securities dealer in Jamaica has created bad publicity for the country and for all Jamaicans at home and abroad.
“This institution represents .05% of the J$5T managed by the total Jamaican financial system. Nonetheless, small as it may be, it is a sign that we must redouble our efforts to supervise that sector even more closely,” Byles said.
He advised that the government has “announced the intention of the Government to change the system of regulation for financial institutions in Jamaica over the next two years. We will be moving from the current approach where BOJ is responsible for supervising only Deposit Taking Institutions (commercial banks, merchant banks, building societies) and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) supervising Non-Deposit-Taking Institutions (securities dealers, insurance companies and pension funds).”
Governor Byles told members of the Diaspora that “under the new regulations, the BOJ will be responsible for prudential supervision for ALL financial institutions and FSC becoming the regulatory agency with responsibility for market conduct and financial consumer protection for all financial institutions.”
Jamaica Stock Exchange
Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Dr. Marlene Street Forrest who was also a guest on the programme gave an update on the country’s securities market.
Let’s Connect with Ambassador Marks enables members of the Diaspora to communicate directly with the Ambassador about matters affecting their lives in the USA and also stay up to date with the Government’s policies and programmes, as well as the Embassy’s activities.
Ambassador Marks is occasionally joined by distinguished guests, including US government officials, key players in various local and international organizations, and prominent members of the Jamaican Diaspora.