Release of Corporate Governance, and Fit & Proper Guidelines for Non-bank Financial Institutions

Monday, January 16, Bridgetown, Barbados – Corporate Governance Financial institutions across the sector are now required to adopt an enhanced Corporate Governance Framework that is suitable to their individual size, complexity, structure, economic significance, and risk profile.

The Commission has enhanced standards that guide the manner in which all institutions within the non-banking financial sector are to be governed, with the release of its Corporate Governance Guidelines dated January 3, 2023.

Robust evidence-based corporate governance principles founded on international best practices such as contained in the Guidelines enhance trust, transparency, and accountability both at the institutional and sectoral level by fostering stability, business integrity and encouraging long-term investment, which spurs rather than stunts economic development.

Fit & Proper

The Commission is seeking to place greater emphasis on the suitability of persons acting within the non-banking financial sector, both at the individual and corporate entity levels.

Through its soon-to-be-released Fit & Proper Guidelines, the regulator seeks to ensure that these individuals meet specified criteria and can fulfill their obligations at a high level and on a consistent basis.

Some of the main features of these Guidelines include more detailed information on the requirements for fitness and propriety and an assessment which individuals and corporate entities are required to take to demonstrate honesty, integrity, reputation, competence, etc.

Financial institutions will also be required to adopt a Fitness and Propriety Policy in line with provisions of the Guidelines, ensuring that the relevant due diligence is completed before candidates are appointed or engaged, and to ensure ongoing fitness and propriety adherence.

The principles noted in these Guidelines allow for a far more proactive regulatory approach by the Commission founded on heightened communication, cooperation, and candour. These Guidelines are intended to bring about improved clarity and strength to the sector. (GIS)