The Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association officially launched its new Banking Code with the presentation of the first copy to Cayman Islands Monetary Authority representatives on Tuesday.
The code sets the standards of good banking practices in the Cayman Islands, and is outlined in a handy 34-page flyer-size brochure.
Seven months in development, the voluntary code explains how local banking institutions and their staff are expected to deal with customers. It covers 16 areas such as cards and PINs, interest rates and charges, complaints and how a bank can assist when a customer has financial difficulties.
‘This is a commitment from the Banker’s Association to the public about what they can expect from their bank,’ said CIBA immediate past president Eduardo D’Angelo P. Silva, speaking on behalf of CIBA President Conor O’Dea.
‘These are not regulations set by government, but rather done on our own initiative to encourage higher standards through competition and market codes,’ he said.
The user-friendly brochure is intended to provide a clear and plain-language explanation of retail banking services and has been adopted by all of Cayman’s retail banks: Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, Fidelity, Butterfield, First Caribbean, Cayman National as well as HSBC, which is anticipated to begin retail operations in September.
As Cayman’s banks have slightly different ways of conducting business, agreeing to a common code proved to be somewhat of a challenge. With this hurdle overcome, the compact document is anticipated to answer a lot of questions that current clients may have.
‘We are glad to participate in any exercise that will allow us to increase transparency,’ said Scotiabank’s Farried Sulliman.
While the new Banking Code is actively being adopted by retail banks at this stage, Mr. Silva said that the code does not apply to the offshore banking activities. However, it has evolved from know-your-customer efforts undertaken by the offshore sector in the 1980s.
‘We are very supportive of this initiative and would like to thank CIBA for bringing the retail banks together on this collaborative effort,’ said CIMA Acting Managing Director Patrick Bodden, who was present to receive the first copy of the Bankers’ Code.