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BMA amendment fixes fee error

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David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A Bill seeking to update definitions and correct fee structures incorrectly stated in the Bermuda Monetary Authority Act 1969 was passed in the House of Assembly.

The Bermuda Monetary Authority Amendment (No 2) Act 2022 seeks to amend the act to update certain definitions in relation to the Investment Business Act 2003 under “Financial Institutions” to be in accordance with the definition of “Investment Provider” under the most recent amendments made to the Investment Business Act 2003.

It also seeks to correct fees incorrectly stated in the principal act to ensure that all fees previously consulted on by the BMA are correctly referenced.

It makes a consequential amendment to the Banks and Deposit Companies (Fees) Act 1975 to correct an annual fee incorrectly stated under the Banks and Deposit Companies (Fees) Act 1975.

Cole Simons, the Leader of the Opposition (File photograph)

Finally, it provides that the Bill shall come into operation with retroactive effect as from January 1, 2022 so the fees revised under the Bill will be in accordance with the fee structure agreed upon by the BMA and industry for the year 2022.

David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, said: “While it is important that these amendments be approved so that the relevant schedules are accurate and comprehensive, the number of institutions to which the specific amendments apply are very small and the fees actually paid by them this year was in keeping with what had previously been consulted on.”

Cole Simons said that while the One Bermuda Alliance supported the Bill, he questioned how such errors could occur and what measures would be put in place to avoid such errors in future.

Mr Burt said: “The fee structures applicable to regulated financial institutions are detailed and inherently complex. In the process of repealing and replacing the fee schedules in place for 2021, a small number of errors and omissions, less than ten per cent, occurred.

“While not related to errors or omissions, the opportunity has been taken to simplify the fee schedule in place pursuant to the Digital Asset Business Act 2018 consolidating the current different licensing fees and ten different annual fees to four different licensing fees and a similar number of annual fees.

“The BMA does stellar work. I cannot speak to what may have taken place then but I am certain that they will take note of what has taken place and continue to do the stellar job that they do, to minimise these challenges in the future.”