April 13, 2021

Barbados Financial Services Commission commits to balanced approach

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BRIM 2021 keynote speaker talks balanced rules, “age of transition”, and opportunities from technology
Professor Avinash Persaud
BARBADOS (March 20, 2021) – Professor Avinash Persaud, the chairman of Barbados’ supra regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), says the island continues its push for a healthy balance between strong regulation and increased efficiencies.

Persaud, an economist and prolific commentator on the financial sector, is the keynote speaker for the inaugural Barbados Risk & Insurance Management (BRIM) virtual conference, which is being hosted on March 24 and 25 by BIBA, the Association for Global Business.

In a preview of his highly anticipated presentation, Prof. Persaud said Barbados is home to almost 300 captive insurance entities. And, he notes, those in the international insurance sector are satisfied with the knowledge that the island is “a place where they will be well regulated”.

According to the FSC chairman, it is “a very exciting time for the insurance sector”, as old models are being challenged on both the assets and liabilities sides by issues such as climate change and pandemics.

“There is a tremendous amount of opportunity as new technology allows you to reach new customers. We see new opportunities for assets like renewable energy … and new types of instruments that can help insurers better manage their liabilities.”

Describing the period as an “age of transition” for the insurance sector, Prof. Persaud said Barbados’ regulators were examining ways in which they could support the sector “in an appropriate and safe manner”.

Simultaneously, the regulator said the agency remained focused on its key roles of “protecting consumers and making sure the financial system was safe”.

For captive insurance companies, improved FSC processes have reduced application times from 12 to four weeks, and efforts continue to reduce that period to a fortnight.

Barbados was recently removed from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist for tax purposes, following four months of vigorous arguments and actions led by the island’s Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley. The FSC has assembled a team of international and local experts to support the Barbados regulators in ensuring its reputation is untarnished.

In this connection, the FSC chairman said the administration was investing heavily in building out regulatory and enforcement agencies and creating new structures to boost Barbados’ response capabilities and compliance.

“We think we are going to be off these lists, and we are investing heavily in remaining off these lists,” he said, adding that the country was taking a long-term approach, anticipating international regulations that may be coming in the future.

Persaud is among a stellar line-up for BRIM 2021, which includes Michael Serricchio, Managing Director of Marsh Captive Solutions in the Americas; Daryl Senick, Partner and National Insurance Leader with BDO Canada; Elizabeth Emanuel, Technical Assistance Manager for CCRIF SPC (formerly Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility); and Ben Arrindell, Deputy Chairman of Cidel Bank & Trust and a special advisor to Prime Minister Mottley on international business matters.

Among the many topics up for discussion at the conference are:

Risk Management Post-Pandemic
Emerging Markets – New Opportunities
Investment Opportunities in a Low Yield Environment
New Initiatives in Captives – Covering Cyber Risk and Pandemic Risk
Risk Management & Climate Change
Managing Investment Portfolios for Captives
Regulation in a Post-COVID World
Disaster Risk Financing and Sustainable Development – A Look at Parametric Insurance at the Sovereign and Micro Levels
IFRS 17 – It’s time for a Straight Line to the Finish

Persaud showered praise on BIBA for highlighting the group’s commitment and innovation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “BIBA has stepped out and is using technology and the occasion to reach a wider audience on a specialized and interesting topic. I am very excited about the event.”

The staging of this conference is made possible by Diamond Sponsors RBC Dominion Securities Global, and the USA Risk Group; Platinum Sponsor London & Capital; Gold Sponsor Strategic Risk Solutions; Silver Sponsors Clarity Life and C&W Business; and Bronze Sponsors Invest Barbados, Sagicor Life Inc, and Summit Asset Management.

Contact the BIBA Secretariat for more details on how to register at [email protected], + 1 (246) 537-2422 or visit www.brim.biba.bb.
About BIBA
BIBA is a nonprofit private sector organization comprising companies engaged in global business from within and through Barbados, and companies which are otherwise strategically associated with this sector. It provides a network for meetings and exchange. BIBA serves as a voice for the development of global business in Barbados and has over 140 member firms. BIBA has repositioned itself as the Association for Global Business to align with the vision of Barbados being a global business hub.
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