News Release: HAMILTON, BERMUDA – Bermuda Financial Policy Council (Council) held its twelfth meeting on December 5. The meeting was hosted by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

The role of the Council is to assess possible threats to Bermuda’s financial stability, and to identify policies and actions to mitigate or eliminate such threats. It also advises the Government on the development of the financial stability framework in Bermuda, and makes policy recommendations designed to support the general economic and financial well-being of the country.

Members of the Council are the Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson, (chair), Sir Andrew Large (deputy chair), BMA Executive Chair Jeremy Cox, Michael Butt, Dame Amelia Fawcett, Gil Tucker and Dr DeLisle Worrell.

At the meeting, Council members discussed economic, demographic and financial challenges facing Bermuda and the potential risks to financial stability. The members of Bermuda’s Fiscal Responsibility Panel were invited to this part of the meeting.

The Council members took note of the Government’s efforts to mitigate the risks facing Bermuda and the progress being made on several fronts. There remained a number of challenges that would need to be addressed coherently in order for Bermuda to continue making progress in reducing the level of external government debt and establish the conditions for renewed and sustainable economic growth, including immigration reform and tax reform.

Council members also discussed developments related to the European Union’s Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) Working Group under the non-cooperative jurisdictions initiative and the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting work, in particular in relation to the growing digitalisation of the economy.

As has been the case in previous FPC meetings, Members supported the decision of the Bermuda Government to actively engage with EU and OECD officials in order to advance the island’s position with respect to these initiatives. Members acknowledged the growing complexities of tax-related international developments and urged the Government to double its efforts towards working together with relevant authorities involved in shaping these agendas.

Fintech developments in Bermuda and internationally, in particular stablecoins, were also discussed by the FPC. Members examined risks and opportunities emerging from both digital currencies and fintech more generally -and how these relate to Bermuda’s efforts to attract financial service providers business to the island.

The discussion focused on the reliance on an effective supervisory framework within which all aspects of the fintech sector will develop and other risk mitigation measures that might be taken to ensure that Bermuda’s reputation as a world class International Financial Centre is robustly protected.

In addition, the following topics were discussed:

●        Activities underway at the Bermuda Government and the BMA in respect to continuing with the development of a recovery and resolution framework for Bermuda banks

●        Recent developments in relation to cyber resilience of the financial sector as well as with respect to the growing market of cyber risk insurance underwriting.

The Council is scheduled to meet again in April 2020.