NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance the Hon. Michael Halkitis said a strong regulatory environment is of particular significance in the Caribbean where several of the jurisdictions are dealing with the effects of interventions taken by CLICO and BAICO.
Mr. Halkitis was speaking at the opening of the CAIR/CARTACT/Toronto Centre Workshop for Caribbean Insurance Supervisors at the British Colonial Hilton, Monday, June 11, The Minister of State said, “Each jurisdiction represented undoubtedly shares the mandate to protect the policyholders, and as you continue to review the financial information presented by insurance companies with greater skill, it is ultimately the policyholders’ interest that will be better safeguarded.”
Mr. Halkitis noted that the diversity of insurance regulators, places them in an advantageous position for dialogue, intelligent discussions and networking.
He said as world leaders continue to deal with the global financial crisis, regulatory challenges are emerging.
“It is more important now than ever before for regulators to be vigilant and promote the development of fair, safe and stable insurance markets.”
Enhancing analytical skills and developing cooperation amongst regulatory agencies will help regulators deal with these emerging challenges, Mr. Halkitis said.
“This year’s theme, ‘Financial Analysis: An Essential Tool for Governance and Supervision’, will enhance your technical knowledge in performing financial analysis of insurance companies.”
The workshop, which has 61 participants representing 21 jurisdictions along with the programme presenters and coordinators, is being hosted by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas.
The workshop is sponsored by the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC), the Toronto Centre and the Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators (CAIR).
President, CAIR, Leon Anderson explained that the workshop will allow the insurance supervisors to discuss the many issues impacting global insurance supervision.
“The programme is designed to guide you through the rudiments of financial analysis of both non-life and life insurance companies, while at the same time, developing your regulatory knowledge and leadership skills,” Mr. Anderson said.
“This year, for the first time, we will be discussing a real-life Caribbean case that will clearly manifest the real issues in supervision.”
CARTAC is a regional resource, based in Barbados, which provides technical assistance and training in core areas of economic and financial management at the request of its participating countries.
The Toronto Centre is an independent, non-profit organisation committed to enhancing the capacity of financial sector regulators and supervisors, particularly in emerging markets and low income countries. The main facilitator of the workshop, Michael Haufman is the chairman, Toronto Centre Insurance and Pensions Advisory Board.
CAIR was born out of the need to rationalise the Regulation of the Caribbean Insurance industry. The objective of the Association is to encourage and support the development and enforcement of insurance regulation in the Caribbean according to worldwide accepted standards.