‘New class of bank’ will cater to fintech
“A new class of bank” is to come to Bermuda, the Premier told the House of Assembly yesterday.
David Burt, who is also Minister of Finance, said that legislation on the way would create new services to cater to Bermuda-based fintech companies.
Mr Burt added that the island's fledgeling fintech sector had faced “understandable resistance” from banks.
He said: “It does not fit the mould of what we have come to know as Bermuda's traditional model.”
But the Premier added that as well as servicing digital business, the new institutions would provide residents with “more choice and more competition”.
Mr Burt said the finance ministry had started consultation on banking reform in line with a pledge in this year's Budget statement.
He added the amendments to the Banks and Deposit Companies Act 1999 would create a new restricted banking licence and set out the sorts of services they could provide — together with a provision for the minister, after consultation with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, to amend their activities to “encompass new innovative business”.
Mr Burt told MPs: “Bermuda must be nimble, or we will be left behind.”
The Premier met representatives of the Bermuda Banking Association on Thursday, who signalled their support for a change in banking legislation.
Mr Burt said: “The fact is that local banks do not currently have the risk appetite to accept persons in the digital asset space.”
He added that the island's traditional banks “need not worry because existing banks are not doing this type of business”.
Mr Burt said the licence would allow the new banks to provide full services to their restricted clients.
He added that the legislative amendments would come to the House of Assembly “shortly”.