Basseterre, December 2, 2021 (SKNIS): The Bill shortly entitled Securities Bill, 2021, passed its second reading on December 1 as the mover of the Bill, Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron said the Bill would replace the Securities Act chapter 21.16.
In his opening remarks to the National Assembly he said, “As you may be aware, financial systems are changing rapidly. We have seen a rise in electronic trading and noted the technical changes and potential complexities brought about by the dissemination of new technologies in the financial markets.”
“The Government of National Unity in its efforts to maintain financial transparency and accuracy, reduce fraud and law manipulation in the financial markets notes the urgency to establish laws that would inhibit fraudulent activities,” said Honourable Byron.
He stated that the new Securities Bill was commissioned by the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank at its 85th meeting that was held on the 22nd of July, 2016 and is to be implemented in all the jurisdictions of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
He continued, “The Bill seeks to enhance the regulation of the security sector by removing regulatory and supervisory hindrances to the work of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC) and would facilitate access to new investment opportunities by residents of the ECCU member states.”
“The Bill will allow for foreign issuers to offer their securities to residents as well as to allow for the listing on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange. The new Bill is also expected to create job opportunities for investment advisors by reducing the financial threshold that is currently in place,” he said.
The Attorney General also said that the Bill will also provide for better regulation of International Business Companies (IBC) that are registered under the respective IBCs regulation in the ECCU member countries that are engaged in the conduct of securities business as well as assist the commission of achieving its goal of obtaining membership in the International Organisation of Securities Organisation (IOSCO).
He continued, “Mr. Speaker, Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission is currently seeking such membership of the IOSCO which is the recognised global standard setter for regulation of securities markets. IOSCO membership requires that the legislative framework governing the securities market in the Easter Caribbean Security System be compliant with the IOSCO core principles for securities regulation and the ECRC must be in a position to comply with the terms of the IOSC.”
He also stated that the enhanced regulation will bode well for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the region as a whole as it collectively tries to build on and expand the legal and regulatory framework to be able to comply with the various international standards to which St. Kitts and Nevis has committed.