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ECCB Annual Financial Report for 2023/2024: Strategic Plans for the Upcoming Fiscal Year

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has released its Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year 2023/2024, detailing plans for the 2024/2025 financial year. The report outlines the ECCB’s initiatives aimed at enhancing financial regulation, supervisory frameworks, and financial stability across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

 

Regulation and Supervision

 

For the 2024/2025 financial year, the ECCB plans to enhance its regulatory and supervisory frameworks to address emerging risks, including climate-related financial risks and cyber risks. Key initiatives include:

 

Basel II/III Capital Adequacy Framework: Implementing Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the Basel II/III framework to strengthen Licensed Financial Institutions’ (LFI) capital positions and risk management functions, with go-live reporting by Q3 2024 and reviews by Q4 2024.

 

  • Payment System Oversight: Finalizing oversight manuals and conducting onsite inspections to complement off-site monitoring to strengthen the resilience of Financial Market Infrastructures (FMIs).

 

  • Payment System and Services Bill: Facilitating the enactment of the Payment System and Services Bill by June 2024 and finalising related regulations.

 

  • Data Protection and Privacy Bill: Finalizing consultancy arrangements and conducting stakeholder consultations for the draft bill.

 

Development of Legal and Regulatory Infrastructure

 

The ECCB aims to establish a macroprudential risk-based policy framework and develop financial stability legislation for the ECCU. The legislation will be drafted and submitted to member countries following stakeholder consultations.

 

Office of Financial Conduct and Inclusion

 

The ECCB will develop a legislative framework to establish an Office for Financial Conduct and Inclusion. This office will focus on regulating financial consumer protection, promoting market integrity, ensuring a competitive market environment, and enhancing financial literacy and inclusion.

 

Modern Insolvency/Bankruptcy Framework

 

The ECCB will collaborate with member governments and stakeholders to develop modern insolvency and bankruptcy legislation to strengthen the region’s financial resilience.

 

Regional Standards Setting Body

 

Consultations will continue establishing a Regional Standards Setting Body to enhance regulatory standards and supervise the non-bank financial sector.

 

Establishment of ECCU Credit Bureau

 

The ECCB will support the launch of Credit Bureau operations, providing regulatory oversight and conducting credit reporting education and awareness activities.

 

Strengthening AML/CFT Supervisory Framework

 

The ECCB will assist member countries in implementing AML/CFT risk-based regulations and provide training for regulators, the legal fraternity, and law enforcement agencies.

 

Secured Transaction and Collateral Registry

 

In collaboration with the International Financial Corporation, the ECCB will facilitate legislative drafting and consultations for the ECCU Secured Transaction and Collateral Registry initiative.

 

Integrating Climate-Related Financial Risks in Supervision

 

The ECCB will provide technical assistance for stress testing, scenario analysis, and developing a reporting framework for climate-related financial risks.

 

Greening the Financial System Initiative (GFSI)

 

The ECCB is establishing committees and working groups to support developing and implementing a green finance strategy and climate risk framework. The Bank will lead the dialogue with development partners and member states to operationalise the Renewable Energy Infrastructure Investment Facility (REIIF).

 

Payments Modernization and Financial Inclusion

 

The ECCB will continue efforts to upgrade the Payment System Infrastructure, including developing a policy for implementing an Instant Payments System (IPS) and supporting the integration of credit unions into the Eastern Caribbean Automated Clearing House.

 

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance

 

The ECCB is developing a social media strategy to enhance communication and will work with the University of the West Indies to upgrade the ECCB Savings and Investment Course. The Bank will also consult on a water recycling plant for its campus.

 

Digital and Data Transformation

 

The ECCB will continue its work on Project BOOST, prioritise data analytics across the audit process, and sponsor AI and web development camps to solve real-world problems in the ECCU.

 

Legislative Agenda

 

The ECCB will draft and consult on Financial Stability legislation, Deposit Insurance legislation, and amendments to the Banking Act, 2015, to ensure a sound financial structure and protect depositors’ funds.

 

The ECCB’s Annual Financial Report for 2023/2024 details a 2024/2025 financial year plan, focusing on regulatory enhancements, financial stability, and initiatives to support the region’s economic growth and resilience.

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