The Financial Policy Council to hold its 17th meeting

The Financial Policy Council [FPC] will hold its seventeenth meeting on Friday July 23, by teleconference.

A government spokesperson said: “In line with its mandate to provide advice on current and potential economic and financial developments and threats, the agenda items will include discussions on international tax developments and a review of the main risks to Bermuda’s financial stability.

“The sixteenth meeting, which was held on May 6, 2021, was also held by teleconference and all members were able to participate in this call. This meeting focused on strengthening and bringing together Bermuda’s private and public efforts that were underway in response to the challenges posed by Covid-19. FPC members discussed both the opportunities and the mitigation of risks resulting from the new economic conditions created nationally and globally by the pandemic.

“During its May discussions, FPC members praised the government’s ongoing public health work to contain the effects of the pandemic, including comprehensive testing and the vaccination schedule, acknowledging that as part of this last, more than 50% of Bermuda residents received a dose of the vaccine, and 40% were fully immunized [as of early May]. It is expected that the significant progress made since May will be highlighted at the next meeting to be held on Thursday.

“On the economic response to Covid-19, the discussions of the FPC during the May meeting, focused on the economic recovery plan [ERP] presented to Parliament by Minister Dickinson on March 22, 2021. Members reviewed key initiatives under the ERP as well as arrangements in place to ensure the successful implementation of the plan and its targets for GDP growth, economic diversification and improvement of public finances.

“In this regard, the FPC underlined the crucial importance of project management to ensure concerted work both between private and public partners and between the different public authorities involved in the execution of the ERP. One area where it was suggested that greater focus would be useful was improving the sources and use of data, which can highlight the quick wins and positive impact of initiatives.

“Members emphasized the importance of ERP to benefit from continued leadership and engagement at the highest levels of government to implement a coherent communications strategy considering the different interests of many stakeholders,” both Bermudan and international. Updates on ongoing and targeted work underway to advance this plan will also be discussed at the next meeting.

“In the context of ERP and with the aim of seizing the opportunities for Bermuda that arise from the digitization of financial services, several issues were highlighted during the discussions in May, as well as the relevant risks that need to be mitigated. . The Digital National Bank of Bermuda received particular attention; development of digital currencies and the role and work of legacy banks.

“Regarding the establishment of a Bermuda National Digital Bank [NDB], members recognized potential opportunities, for example, for faster, cheaper and more inclusive services. It was further emphasized that success will require that regulatory standards are not compromised and that the risks to Bermuda’s reputation and financial stability are assessed and appropriately mitigated.

As noted above, FPC also reviewed in May the developments that had taken place prior to the May meeting, in digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies. [CBDC]. Members discussed the implications of each regarding the main characteristics of money – acting as a means of payment, a store of value and as a denominator of economic and fiscal activity.

“Technological innovations, market trends and changing digital currency regulations are all relevant. The role of legacy banks in providing services to Bermudians was also discussed with the recognition of their value, as well as the encouragement for them to embrace the changes and opportunities arising from the digital space. In all three cases, members encouraged the government to continue to strengthen its dialogue and consultation between those involved in the promotion of FinTech and those involved in regulation, as well as with relevant private stakeholders.

“Members will have the opportunity at this week’s meeting to review the important digital work Bermuda continues to do and provide further comments and advice in this regard.

“Tax issues were a key topic of discussion in May and in this regard, the FPC noted recent developments on both sides of the Atlantic, in particular the US and the EU. [European Union’s] renewed convergence towards support for the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] work on the reform of the international tax architecture.

“During the May discussions, members recommended that in order to seize opportunities more widely and avoid sanctions, Bermuda should focus more on engagement and dialogue with partners from the US, UK , the EU and the OECD, building on the goodwill of a successful engagement with them in recent years. years in areas such as money laundering, global cooperation and insurance equivalence.

“In this regard, members of the PFC urged the government to continue its strategic approach to uphold international principles and high standards of disclosure and regulation. It was noted that these have served Bermuda well over the past few years and will be the cornerstone of their success in realizing opportunities for the future, and particularly in terms of acting as a financial center and important international trade.

“Important developments have taken place on global tax issues since the May 6 Council meeting. Given the importance of the ongoing work Bermuda is undertaking in this critical area, the advice provided by Fiscal Policy Council members at this week’s meeting and elsewhere, will certainly be a key contribution as the Department and the government continues to develop and implement their strategy in this area. about.

“As stated in its recent ministerial statement on the OECD initiative,” In collaboration with industry and other key strategic partners, Bermuda will continue to seek opportunities and employ strategies that are beneficial to individuals and businesses and will allow our island to compete effectively. in this constantly evolving market.

“The ministry looks forward to continuing its strong and positive working relationship with members of the Fiscal Policy Board and expects its deliberations at the meeting to be held this week on Thursday, July 23, will once again bring a valuable contribution to help shape Bermuda’s economic situation. and financial policy.


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