IMF published staff report and selected issues report on the IMF Executive Board's conclusion of the 2017 discussion on common policies of member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), in context of the Article IV consultations with member countries. While recognizing steps taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the IMF directors noted that weaknesses remain in the financial sector, with banks still burdened by high nonperforming loans.
Directors highlighted the importance of enforcing prudential requirements based on a realistic assessments of banks’ capital needs. Directors also encouraged early completion of key legislation, including a harmonized law on asset quality, a stronger regulatory framework for credit unions and insurance companies, and new insolvency legislation. With regard to financial sector supervision, eighteen of the 20 Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) member countries are now fully on board to implement the standardized approach to Basel II in the Caribbean. During the 2016 financial year, the ECCU adapted the revised Basel reporting forms and the Basel guidelines on credit risk, operational risk, market risks, interest rate risk in the banking book, supervisory review process (pillar 2), and disclosure and transparency (pillar 3). Several of the single regulatory authorities in the ECCU have also requested Technical Assistance to implement Basel II for the off-shore banking sector.
To this end, CARTAC has provided Technical Assistance to Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis to review their supervisory frameworks to ensure adequacy to implement Basel II. Antigua and Barbuda have already submitted the revised reporting forms and guidelines to their offE-shore banking industry for comments and feedback. ECCB is receiving Technical Assistance from CARTAC in this area. This includes technical advice, training, and mentoring staff and assisting with enhancements to the risk-based supervisory framework and Basel II implementation. With CARTAC assistance, an initial roadmap for implementation is being finalized. A suite of draft prudential standards were also submitted to the banking sector for comments by August 2016 and are being finalized.
Keywords: Banking, Insurance, IMF, Caribbean, ECCU, Article IV, Basel II
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