Monetary Authority staff is ‘less than needed’

Cayman’s main financial regulatory
agency still does not have the staff it needs to perform all oversight
functions required of it, according to the agency’s managing director.

The Cayman Islands Monetary
Authority, which is about to take on new responsibilities for monitoring and
regulating national pensions and may potentially get into employer health
insurance regulation as well, now has 174 people on staff.

CIMA Managing Director Cindy
Scotland said that during a recent analysis the authority put its staffing
needs at more than 200 employees.

Mrs. Scotland told the Legislative
Assembly’s Finance Committee earlier this week that the authority had been
allowed to hire 15 people ahead of the upcoming budget year.

“The ideal amount for us in this
year would have been 20 to 25 (employees),” she said. “We are way below the
staff that we need.”

The International Monetary Fund
agrees with Mrs. Scotland.

During a review of the authority’s
staff that was publicly released in 2009, the IMF had serious questions about
whether CIMA had enough people to do its job.

“Staff levels at CIMA appear to
pose some constraints,” the IMF report noted.

The report specifically recommended
that more detailed information regarding requests to the agency’s Financial
Reporting Authority by domestic law enforcement agencies be made available.

Another responsibility the monetary
authority may soon be taking on includes the regulatory duties for private
sector pension plan providers in Cayman. Those are currently handled by the National
Pensions Office but concerns about that office’s staffing and workload have
prompted a proposed shift.

Education Minister Rolston Anglin,
who has responsibility for national pensions, said earlier this year that he
intended to move the regulatory duties of the pensions office to CIMA. There
has also been some suggestion that the regulation of legally required employee
health plans for Cayman companies should also be regulated by CIMA.

Mrs. Scotland said not all of the
15 new employees would be used to handle new regulatory responsibilities; some
were required to fill existing gaps.

The Cayman Islands Monetary
Authority regulates all of Cayman’s banks, insurance companies, and the
financial services industry. It also monitors compliance with international and
local anti-money laundering standards.

LOCALmonetarySTORY

Cindy Scotland

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