House: efforts to detect financial crime
The Registrar of Companies will oversee dealers in high value goods after MPs passed legislation last night.
The supervisory function will transfer from the Financial Intelligence Agency under the Registrar of Companies (Supervision and Regulations) Bill, which was approved in a virtual sitting of the House of Assembly.
It widens the role of the Registrar of Companies in assisting with the detection and prevention of financial crime.
Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said new duties included monitoring dealers and imposing restrictions on the disclosure of sensitive information, including to the Minister of Finance, the FIA and Bermuda Monetary Authority. Unlawful disclosure can result in a $50,000 fine, a two-year prison sentence or both.
Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Shadow Minister of Finance, questioned the capacity of the Registrar of Companies to manage any extra workload associated with the move.
“I am not certain if they are powered up to be able to take on those regulatory functions,” she said.
Leah Scott, the deputy leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, questioned whether the Registrar of Companies had the necessary skill sets to adequately fulfil the task.
Mr Dickinson said the Registrar of Companies “is doing extraordinary work and has a dedicated team”.
He added: “Resources continue to be a challenge in the compliance space. We are working with RoC. The world is short of compliance professionals. The department is in transition and has accepted the challenge.”
Mr Dickinson said he would consider the need for two regulatory bodies: the Registrar of Companies and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
He said: “Does Bermuda have enough space for two regulators? This is something I am giving consideration to. The BMA has a strong record of being a regulator for financial services, we should allow them to continue. We will need enough time to give proper thought to how RoC will evolve in the future.”