The upper house met this morning in a final session for 2019, to vote on the passage of legislation having to do with a slew of motions, including international banking. Today’s senate meeting succeeds a sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday where a number of these proposed laws were initially tabled. The International Banking Amendment Bill seeks to improve measures for supervision and oversight of international banks and it comes in the wake of the winding down of two such offshore financial institutions earlier this year. While legislation pertaining to management already exists, Senator Mark Lizarraga, who represents the business community, raised concerns about its shortcomings.
Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community
“The question then is, how have these mechanisms in place failed us and what can we do to strengthen them or address those failures. This bill before us today does none of that. I tried to see if I could locate a copy of an actuarial study that may have been done for this because anytime you talk about insurance schemes, the talk, I would think that one of the first people you would talk to would be an actuary and say, “Look, I need to have this fund perform in this way and I want to have this sort of protection for my premium payer. What is the premium going to be?” I was not able to locate any of that. So the question remains, did we secure an actuarial study to see if the premiums that we’re proposing to charge are even enough? The law in Schedule Two, the bill in Schedule Two proposes to establish certain rates to raise these monies and Madam President, I went on the Central Bank’s website and I downloaded the numbers that I saw in the Central Bank Report for deposits and I tried to see if I could reconcile with the numbers that were being proposed, at least in the presentations made to the banks when they were selling this concept and the impression that I got from the presentations that I read was that the international deposits were going to be from these international banks, the banks that dealt with these international clients were going to be included in this premium pool. But when I look at the law today, I cannot find any section that says funds from those banks will be captured in here.”