• December 15th, 2019

Schlettwein irked by failure to discuss non-banking sector bills



WINDHOEK - Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein has expressed dismay over fellow parliamentarians’ failure to discuss and conclude favourably the consideration of three non-banking financial sector bills.
The three bills that Schlettwein tabled already on June 26 are the Financial Institutions and Markets, the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) and the Financial Services Adjudicator.
The bills seek to bring the legislation for the domestic non-banking financial sector up to date and to foster national development objectives.

“The House was unable to discuss and conclude favourably the consideration of the three bills. However, the urgent need to implement reforms and consequent legislative amendment of the existing outdated laws will not disappear. We have only delayed it, and by doing so, honourable speaker, the intended benefits enshrined in the bills are further postponed, “ he expressed in the National Assembly on Thursday.
He, therefore, said, as a matter of urgency, the parliamentarians must pursue the consideration of these bills during the coming session.

Equally, Schlettwein said he took cognizance that some members have raised concerns about the complexity of the bills, and therefore, the inadequate time to consider them, following the submission last month.

Going forward, he wished that members will use the window of opportunity to scrutinise the bills and seek technical clarifications if such need arises.

He assured the parliamentarians that the finance ministry and Namfisa would avail themselves to provide technical clarification to them if need be.

Further, he stated stakeholder consultation on these bills has evolved over the past 10 years since 2008.
According to him, the bills propose to modernise the supervision framework and foster market efficiencies for the non-banking financial service sector, whose size is about twice the overall real output of the national economy.

He explained that the core of the three bills is the shift from mere compliance-based and standalone supervision, to a risk-based and integrated supervision, allowing for better preparedness, risk mitigation and efficiency in the supervision framework.

Additionally, he said the bills aim to modernise various pieces of legislation, some of which are as old as 30 or 50 years.

The bills also aim at correcting market inefficiencies, thus making the non-banking financial sector more relevant to the national development objectives and promoting national competitiveness through alignment with the best regional and global practices.

Moreover, the bills seek to foster confidence in the financial system and soundness of financial institutions and financial intermediaries. 

The bills furthermore aim at maintaining the highest standards of conduct of business by financial institutions and financial intermediaries, and the reduction and deterrence of financial crime.
“The furtherance of consumer protection, transparency and highest standards of market conduct necessitated the need to introduce designate legislation for the speedy, accessible and cost-efficiency resolution mechanism for consumer complaints, ensuring that consumers of financial products and services are treated fairly,” he maintained. 

This, he said, is the essence of the Financial Adjudicator Bill.
The bills shift power from the registrar to the board, thus strengthening governance through improved fiduciary oversight and accountability.


Albertina Nakale
2019-07-17 09:17:01 | 4 months ago

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