The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority is not adequately staffed to effectively regulate the finance industry, according to deputy managing director Patrick Bodden.
Responding to a question by the Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush in finance committee about whether CIMA considers it has a full staff complement according to its workload and needs, Mr. Bodden said CIMA had not yet achieved optimum resource levels.
“We take a risk-based approach to regulation which guides the focus of various resources in regards to our regulation of the financial industry. But certainly we are at no way to the level that is needed for the regulation of the financial industry in a very robust way,” Mr. Bodden said.
The authority, which employs 173 staff, including 152 Caymanians, currently has 25 vacancies that are at various stages in the recruitment process both domestically and abroad.
Of those 25 positions, five to seven are senior roles, Mr. Bodden said. They include the deputy managing director of supervision, the head of insurance, two chief policy and development officers and two analysts in the investment division. The senior positions are in the process of short-listing for interviews.
Government proposes to reduce the budget for the authority this year from $6.3 million to $3.3 million, because of the extra revenue that CIMA will generate from a new registration and licensing requirement for directors of entities regulated under the Mutual Funds Law and certain “excluded persons” under the Securities Investment Business Law.
The ministry for financial services said in response to Mr. Bodden’s comments that with the approval of the 2014/15 appropriations for CIMA, and the revenue gained through the Director Registration and Licensing Law, CIMA will be able to fill the 25 vacancies that they have for the coming fiscal year.
“The ministry has been assured of CIMA’s ongoing ability to continue to regulate the financial services industry, in line with internationally accepted standards,” a statement from the ministry said.
The former head of insurance, Gordon Rowell, who had been on sick leave since September 2013, was replaced in April by Morag Nicol, a former deputy head of the insurance division, who took on the role in an acting capacity on a temporary basis. Her remit is to assist in the search for a permanent replacement for Mr. Rowell.
In June, CIMA appointed Heather Smith as head of the Investments and Securities Division, following the resignation of Yolanda McCoy.