Friday, August 12, 2022
By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Attorney General said yesterday that part of the government’s upcoming legislative agenda will be bringing “company laws up to date”.
Ryan Pinder, in remarks at the Office of the Prime Minister’s weekly press conference, said the International Business Company (IBC) laws and other related legislation that fall under the Companies Act will be overhauled during this legislative year .
Mr Pinder said the government wants to “redefine the jurisdiction as a central jurisdiction for company and corporations... to really give strength on the commercial side of the country to help promote the economic growth and development on the financial services side.”
He added: “As a corollary to that there’s a number of financial services amendments that are being prepared to be tabled over the course of the next six months. We look to have a brand new Securities Industries Bill. It’s a complete overhaul of the SIA (Securities Industries Act) that brings the securities framework in the country to modern best practices, completely benchmarked and internationally.
“This piece of legislation was revolutionary in its time, but it’s more than 10 years old. And as we know, the industry has changed dramatically. And so it’s a complete overhaul of Securities Industries Act.”
The SIA, 2011 was seen at the time as having the ultimate objective of bringing the regulatory regime for the Securities Industry into compliance with the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO’s) 38 Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation. IOSCO is the international standard-setter for securities regulation. It is believed that the SIA, 2011 Act accomplished that.
Compliance with IOSCO’s 38 Principles sets the stage for achieving ‘A’ Signatory Status to IOSCO’s Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation, Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (MMoU).
Mr Pinder also said: “In line with that, we’re looking to amend the Investment Funds Act, to bring that in line with developments.” He continued, “We’re looking at substantial amendments to the DARE (Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges) Act again, you would have known as part of our policy position on digital assets. We created Digital Advisory Panel, which I’m the Chair, we work closely with the Securities Commission.”
The digital assets industry has taken significant shape in The Bahamas particularly after the landing of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in FTX in 2021. Building off of the success of FTX, which brought scores of cryptocurrency investors to the country in April, many of who have expressed interest in setting up shop in The Bahamas as FTX has done, the government is seeing this as a positive sign for the sector moving forward.
Mr Pinder added: “We gave our pledge in our policy paper that we would keep our legislative framework in line with the development of the industry. So you can see amendments that have to do with how clients hold their assets, how the custodians function in a digital asset space, staking, a regime for stable coins we would have seen there’s a lot of questions about stable coins and the proper regulatory to a framework.
“The amendments of the DARE Act will address those in that fashion. We also look for subsequent regulatory amendments to the regulations that deal with areas under digital assets.”