again, as Chairman of FINSAC, I am proud to introduce our Annual Report,
and to look back on another year of outstanding achievements.
Fiscal 2000/2001 was the fourth year of FINSACís operations in what
was always seen as a seven-year task to build for Jamaica a sound,
strong and well-regulated financial sector. As the company enters its
fifth year, we are well ahead of schedule. Our programme of divestment
of our major direct holdings in financial institutions is nearing
completion, and the implementation of our exit strategy is already
FINSACís own organisation has become considerably leaner and trimmer,
and our target now is to substantially wind down the scope of our
operations in such a way as to facilitate a smooth transition of
FINSACís residual responsibilities to other agencies of the Jamaican
The stabilisation of Jamaicaís financial sector without major
disruption has, in my view, been FINSACís greatest achievement. Working
closely with government and industry, we have, I believe, demonstrated a
very strong resolve to build new foundations, and we have promoted a
refreshing culture of co-operative responsibility.
The results are there for us all to see. In our insurance sector, the
new legislation recommended by FINSAC will soon become law, and there
has been no shortage of overseas investors willing to inject capital
into the companies that FINSAC had taken over and rehabilitated.
In our banking sector, the mergers and consolidations brought about
by FINSAC have rationalised an overcrowded and, for the most part,
ailing industry, again resulting in willing purchasers for the newly
formed Union Bank.
Central to our success in the fostering of investor confidence has
been the Governmentís decision to introduce a stronger financial
regulatory framework for Jamaica, with increased powers for the Bank of
Jamaica and the establishment of the new Financial Services Commission
to oversee non-deposit taking institutions. FINSAC is proud to have
shared in this vision, and to have contributed to the "operationalising"
of this very complex project.
The year ahead will see a continued focus on the divestment to the
private sector of our non-performing loan portfolio and of our hotel and
real estate holdings. Again, considerable progress was made in these
areas in fiscal 2000/2001, with much of the successes attributable to
FINSACís strategy of encouraging debtors to "come in and talk."
Recognition that in many cases loans are simply not repayable has, in
many instances, preserved peopleís homes and has also, I believe,
reassured Jamaicans that FINSACís overall goal is to resolve problems
without unnecessary disruption.
Finally, I wish to place on record again, my thanks to FINSACís staff
for the great contribution they have made to Jamaicaís future through
their hard work and dedication.
Patrick Hylton has been a committed leader to our organisation for
three years now. His service as Managing Director has been exemplary. We
have also been fortunate indeed to have recruited so many talented
individuals to give of their best to help this country through a crisis,
which could have destroyed us, but which has instead, created a bright
future for Jamaicaís financial sector.
Dr. the Hon. Kenneth Rattray, O.J., Q.C.