Modern financial institutions bill passed

-opposition remains concerned at Central Bank powers

Winston Jordan

Buoyed by the support of the banking sector, the National Assembly just after nine last night passed the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill which is aimed at modernising the financial architecture of the country.

The opposition argued that the amendments to Part VIII of the Bill infringe on the constitutional right of financial institutions to due process and stressed that Article 37 (2)(i) which grants the Bank of Guyana (BoG) the power to resolve an institution if it has reasonable cause to believe that the licensed financial institution or its executive officers have engaged or are engaging in criminal activities punishable by imprisonment of six months or more, in such a manner as to threaten the interests of depositors was a clear indication of such infringement.

Jordan however read for the House two letters from representatives of the banking sector. The first was dated June 27, 2018 and expressed the bankers’ desire to be granted 14 days to review the bill while the second dated June 29 rescinded this request and noted that BoG governor Gobind Ganga had been able to allay their concerns.  These letters followed a June 25th news item in Stabroek News in which former President Donald Ramotar expressed grave reservations over the bill…..