Tuesday, December 6, 2005 – A Single Regulatory Unit (SRU) involving all
players in the financial sector is currently being introduced in Saint Lucia.
Over the weekend a consultative meeting was held among representatives of the
credit unions and cooperative sector, officials of the Ministry of Finance and
the Ministry of Labour Relations, Public Service and Co-operatives.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Mr. Trevor Braithwaite briefed
the gathering on the implications of establishing the Single Regulatory Unit in
an environment of strengthened financial supervision and monitoring.
Braithwate says the Single Regulatory Unit concept is currently unfolding in
several other Caribbean territories against the background of “fragmentation of
supervision in various financial institutions, insufficient legislation to
strengthen the hand of legislators and regulators, and an absence of a proactive
approach to emerging financial entities.”
The Ministry of Finance official who also sits on the Board of Directors of the
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank ECCB says there are new developments that
increasingly impact on the structure, organisation and management of the
“Right now we also have linkages between the local, regional and international
credit unions. For instance, we know a lot of work have been done with regional
and international counterparts for credit unions in terms of assisting in some
of their supervisory efforts and we have supervisory bodies that contribute to
the financial and economic policies that are developed from time to time. These
are the existing arrangements; these are the strengths we see.”
One trend which he says must be seriously considered is the integration of
financial services, some of which are very sophisticated but unregulated due to
limitations in the existing financial legislation. The onus is on government to
take prudent measures and remain one step ahead of this fast track sector.
The Single Regulatory Unit - authorised via a Cabinet memo - should come into
effect during the last quarter of 2006. Mr. Braithwaite said Cabinet has
recommended that the unit be established within the Ministry of Finance.
Once the SRU becomes operational, it will begin to work towards its mandate
which is to strengthen and improve financial regulation and supervision of all
financial institutions not licensed under the Banking Act in the context of the
soon to be established Uniform Banking Act through an effective, integrated and
The consultation was held on Saturday 03rd December at the National Insurance
Corporation Conference room on the Waterfront in Castries.