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FINSAC prevented financial ruin of many - Davies

Finance and  Planning Minister Dr. Omar Davies says the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC), at a "tremendous cost", has prevented the "total financial ruin" of many people in the society.

He pointed out that the Government had rejected the advice of multi-lateral institutions to keep its commitment to protect the interest of depositors, pensioners and policy holders in troubled financial institutions.

The Minister was speaking Saturday at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, at a seminar for returning residents on the topic 'Protecting Your Money'. He assured the gathering that Government had taken steps to strengthen the regulation of the financial sector, to bring it up to First World standard.

"Even in the absence of criminal conviction, persons who have misused financial resources, you will never see their faces again in financial institutions," Dr. Davies declared, to applause from the audience.

He added that Government was pursuing, through the courts, persons from the financial sector who had been involved in wrongdoing, but noted that they could not be convicted before they were tried by the courts.

In strengthening the regulatory framework, Dr. Davies said he had appointed "high calibre" persons to head regulatory agencies such as the Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation which sponsored the seminar.

He mentioned other improvement measures, including the enforcement of "fit and proper criteria", and subjecting to detailed examination, persons requiring authorisation to operate in certain positions in the financial sector.

The Minister also pointed to the establishment of a Securities Commission to license securities dealers; increased responsibilities for auditors to report early signs of trouble to company principals and regulators; and bringing holding companies of financial institutions under the authority of the relevant regulatory body.

Dr. Davies commended returning residents for the positive influence they had on the communities in which they have resettled, noting that they were "most active and disciplined" at the community level.

 

July 26, 1999

 

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