In the face of increased financial regulations, the Barbados Police Co-op Credit Union Ltd (BPCCUL) has advised its members, and those of other credit unions, to provide all information needed to remain in full compliance with the authorities.
The advice came from BPCCUL’s Chairman Hally Haynes, in an address to members during its recent virtual annual general meeting.
Haynes said that compared to previous years, the regulatory framework supporting credit unions on the island has increased their oversight significantly and this has led to increased transparency regarding members’ information.
“Today we are operating in an environment where the regulatory landscape is evolving rapidly, and the demands for credit unions to meet these regulatory standards are indeed very challenging, complicated and hostile.
“Our credit union, and indeed all of the credit unions in Barbados, are required to comply with the OECD Common Reporting Standards (CRS), which places a requirement on credit unions and all financial institutions, to report accounts held by members who reside outside of the jurisdiction of Barbados.
Haynes revealed that an online automatic exchange information portal was implemented for members since June 1, 2022, to assist them in filing for the 2022 fiscal year with the new CRS mandating that all relevant information from the credit union has to be filed in the three-month period ending September 30th 2022, to avoid being penalised.
“It must be noted that the CRS regime imposes obligations to file reports. Failure to submit reports may result in credit unions being sanctioned as per the relevant regulations. In addition, it must be noted that the CRS is now subject to peer review by the Global Forum; jurisdictions will be given ratings of untracked, partially compliant and non-compliant. Peer review is concerned with the effectiveness of the CRS regime. A report will be published in the global forum later this year.
“In short my friend, these are different times.”
He further explained that the Fair Credit Reporting Act which was passed in Parliament in December 2021, was designed to standardise credit reporting activities in Barbados, and with the advent of such changes, Haynes was pleased that the BPCCUL was on the road to being in full compliance with the Act.
“I am pleased to report that the Barbados Police Co-op Credit Union Ltd has submitted all of its onboarding documentations to Credit Advice, the service provider, to facilitate the commencement of the data project.
“In the current climate we need to ensure that we remain ever vigilant and exhibit operational best practices as it relates to corporate governance. This aspect of our operations is now more critical than ever before, as we navigate the headwinds of the emerging financial and regulatory demands. At the same time, we also need to meet the prudential standards and guidelines set up by our regulator, the Financial Services Commission.”