ECCB Takes Steps To Establish Office For Financial Market Conduct

The content originally appeared on: ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday, January 24, 2023 (ZIZ News) — As part of its mandate to ensure financial stability within the region, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is working to empower consumers and protect businesses through the introduction of an office for financial market conduct also known an Office of Financial Ombudsman.

This office will allow for transparency and predictability where people are aware of the rules that govern the market.

During the most recent episode of ECCB Connects, Chief Director (Policy), Tracy Polius, explained the concept of financial market conduct.

She said, “Financial Market conduct regulation is really the regulation of the business engagement of financial firms with their customers, to achieve particular objectives. We want to ensure that we establish clear frameworks that govern the engagement of financial funds with their customers, we want to ensure that the market does not engage in one ethical business practices, we want to ensure that the market is furnished with adequate information so that financial markets participants can make appropriate and informed decisions.”

Ms. Polius spoke of why the establishment of an office for financial market conduct is important.

“The market itself suggests what it wants, so in the case of the Eastern Caribbean currency Union, we have been hearing about issues related to practices of financial firms and how they engage with the customers and added to that the market is dynamic and it’s changing so the manner which financial firms engage with the customers is changing so Financial firms are now leveraging a lot of ICT Technologies to have their customers access financial services so there emerges issues of data privacy and customer protection act and as the market changes and evolves we felt it fit that we need to introduce patients to ensure that consumers are protected.”

She said consumers will be positively impacted by the introduction of the financial market conduct.

“The regular man on this street is impacted in a number of different ways. In our case, we also want to have a mandate for financial literacy and for financial inclusion as part of our financial conduct framework and therefore the regular man on the street will see a situation in which he or she has access to a basic suite of financial services because the framework would allow for the market to provide so for the regular man.

Additionally, we would look at financial literacy to increase the awareness for basic Financial Market participants so they could understand financial transactions, get comfortable with them and be able to participate in a more meaningful manner in the financial system.”

The next steps in developing the framework for the office of financial market conduct will involve further research to determine the structure of the model, followed by the governing policy guidelines.