International business needs certainty on BMA fee levels, OBA leader says
More information on when international businesses could expect increased fees from the financial services watchdog should be released, the Opposition said today.
Cole Simons, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, made the call as the House of Assembly passed amendments to the laws governing the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
Mr Simons told MPs last Friday there needed to be more certainty on fees imposed by the authority.
He said: “We cannot continue to raise these fees annually if we want to remain competitive as a jurisdiction.”
He added that businesses regulated by the BMA needed to have a degree of certainty over fees for “the next two or three years”.
Mr Simons was speaking as the Bermuda Monetary Authority Amendment No. 2 Act was backed by the House.
Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, said: “As a general rule, the BMA tends to conduct fee reviews every second or third year.
“These reviews, I’m almost certain, involve having a look at the landscape, also looking at the requirements the regulatory authority has placed on the BMA.”
Mr Dickinson added: “It has been the practice of the BMA for as long as I have been involved here doing this job, to engage in … robust, broad, consultations with their stakeholders.
“So, when they do introduce fees it is typically after … fairly substantial conversations.
“The BMA is certainly mindful of the cost of regulation and is certainly trying to strike a balance between its own obligations and the burden it is placing on those that it is responsible to regulate.”
MPs also passed the Customs Tariff Amendment No. 2 Act which brought Bermuda into line with the seventh update of the international Harmonised System, which governs tariffs and how economic statistics were compiled.
Mr Dickinson said the changes would be “entirely revenue neutral” and any appropriate duty rate changes would be included in the 2022-23 Budget.