Bahamas’ Digital ‘Dare’ Redrafted For Fresh Look13 Nov 2019

FintechNation seeks to make inroads into the fast-growing digital economy

Legislation to regulate the financial technology (Fintech) and cryptocurrency space is being redrafted and will be released for a second consultation round before year-end, it was revealed yesterday.

Christina Rolle, the Securities Commission’s executive director, told the Accountants’ Week conference that the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Bill 2019 was being reworked based on industry feedback after the first version was released earlier this year.

The so-called DARE Bill 2019, an acronym of its first letters, is designed to protect the integrity and reputation of The Bahamas’ financial services industry as this nation seeks to make inroads into the potential growth opportunities provided by the fast-growing digital economy.

The government also views fintech (financial technology) and crypto/digital assets as a key element in its strategy to reposition the financial services sector, and re-establish a competitive advantage, while also linking to its Grand Bahama technology hub ambitions.

A busy year of legislative reform for the Securities Commission

Ms Rolle, meanwhile, said a busy year of legislative reform for the Securities Commission will soon be complete, with several initiatives pending further consultation and feedback from the international community.

She added that the capital markets and investment funds regulator had hired the KPMG accounting firm to assist with creating a cloud-based platform that will aid its risk-based framework assessments. The platform was rolled out to all registrants under the Securities Industry Act in September to help companies link with the Securities Commission’s internal risk assessment tools.

Ms Rolle said the Financial and Corporate Services Providers Bill, and the general regulation and fees rules, were reissued for consultation this year. Both had been amended to reflect comments received from the industry regarding International Business Companies (IBCs) offering financial and corporate services in The Bahamas.

The drafts were also updated to facilitate services such as financial leasing, financial advisory and consultancy services, financial intermediation services, trading in commodities and also digital custody services and wallet services for digital assets.

Securities Commission licensees under the Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act and Investment Funds Act will now also be required to access the platform and input their data, having been formally notified of this requirement yesterday.

Ms Rolle added that Contract for Difference (CFD) rules are being finalised, while the Securities Commission is also waiting on comments and feedback from the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Source: The Tribune