BMA to issue new-look banknotes

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Newly-designed Bermuda dollar bank notes are set to hit the streets early next year and will represent the first complete redesign of the currency since it was launched in 1970.

The new banknotes will be the same size as the current ones, with a flora and fauna design, according to the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), which will be introducing them on February 20, 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Authority and the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda.

The new currency series was part of a number of measures announced by the BMA in its 2008 Business Plan, the first of its kind at the Authority, at a press conference held at its headquarters in Victoria Street yesterday.

  • <B>Talking business: </B>The BMA's Marcia Woolridge-Allwood, director of corporate financial services, Matthew Elderfield, chief executive, and Jeremy Cox, deputy CEO, introduce the Authority's first ever business plan.

    Talking business: The BMA's Marcia Woolridge-Allwood, director of corporate financial services, Matthew Elderfield, chief executive, and Jeremy Cox, deputy CEO, introduce the Authority's first ever business plan.


Newly-designed Bermuda dollar bank notes are set to hit the streets early next year and will represent the first complete redesign of the currency since it was launched in 1970.

The new banknotes will be the same size as the current ones, with a flora and fauna design, according to the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), which will be introducing them on February 20, 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Authority and the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda.

The new currency series was part of a number of measures announced by the BMA in its 2008 Business Plan, the first of its kind at the Authority, at a press conference held at its headquarters in Victoria Street yesterday.

Among other changes to the plan discussed at the meeting were a road map for insurance solvency, models and group supervision, as well as a supervisory probe on anti-money laundering, in a bid to keep pace with Bermuda's ever-growing financial and insurance business sector.

The BMA's chief executive Matthew Elderfield kicked-off proceeding by giving an overview of the Authority's key regulatory initiatives and business goals.

"The BMA is already highly compliant with international standards, with a strong operational capability," he said.

"This plan shows our commitment to build on this by developing our regulatory framework and expanding our professional staff."

Some of the BMA's key regulatory initiatives include implementing and developing new risk-based capital standards for insurance companies and strengthening anti-money laundering supervision.

"These are the regulatory issues that are challenging authorities in other leading jurisdictions, whether London, New York or elsewhere," said Mr. Elderfield.

As far as the issue of staffing was concerned, Mr. Elderfield said the number of BMA supervisors had grown in recent years, while the Authority had restructured its teams, adding actuarial, risk and policy, and run-off teams, with more increases in the pipeline.

"Further enhancement of our operational capability remains a key objective for us, and we have already expanded our supervisory teams," said Mr. Elderfield.

"The plan shows our intention to continue adding to the depth of technical skills and resources at the Authority, in line with our increasing responsibilities as Bermuda's financial regulator. Overall, it is a cutting edge agenda and not a catch-up agenda."

Jeremy Cox, the newly-promoted deputy CEO, went on to talk about insurance solvency, models and group supervision.

"I think, for us on the insurance side, we have had an initiative for almost a year now and we have been developing a new solvency risk-based model for Bermuda and for our Class 4 sector in particular," he said.

"We will implement this for the Class 4 sector and then try and implement the same model for our Class 3 sector.

"Really, I think this is going to take us to another level in terms of our supervision of the Class 4 sector and set the stage for what we want to do for the rest of the sectors." Marcia Woolridge-Allwood, director of corporate financial services at the BMA, then spoke about the new currency series and what form it would take.

"On the non-regulatory side, we have been planning since 2005 the refreshment of our bank notes," she said.

This will include giving the banknotes a unique identity from other jurisdictions and updating them with the latest anti-counterfeiting features, as well as phasing out the current notes in circulation.

Mr. Elderfield wrapped up the meeting with a few words on the BMA's new anti-money laundering strategy, including plans to introduce a exam programme based on anti-money laundering made up of an expert on the subject with a police background and a team of insurance and banking experts to look at how well companies comply with it.

"Forthcoming legislation will enhance our existing enforcement capabilities to assess institutions' compliance with anti-money laundering standards," he said.

"We are already preparing for a series of specific on-site assessments of institutions to test the quality of anti-money laundering controls and, as necessary, provide the basis for enforcement action."

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Published Jan 22, 2008 at 12:01 am (Updated Feb 5, 2011 at 12:37 am)

BMA to issue new-look banknotes

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