A stable financial system mitigates the potential for losses by depositors, policyholders and pension plan members. Promoting the stability of the financial system is one of the key mandates of the Central Bank. The responsibility for fulfilling this mandate rests with the Financial Institution Supervision Department (FISD) within the Central Bank.
FISD, under the leadership of the Inspector of Financial Institutions (IOFI) promotes financial stability by administering the Financial Institutions Act, 2008 (the FIA), and the Insurance Act, Chapter 84:01 (the IA) to the parties subject to the respective Acts, namely, licensed financial institutions, registered insurance companies, intermediaries and occupational pension plans.
The specific objectives of the FISD are to:
1. Maintain an appropriate legislative, regulatory and supervisory framework to govern the operations of all persons licensed under the FIA (licensees) and registered under the IA (registrants).
2. Assess all licensees and registrants to determine whether they are in a sound financial condition and are operating in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and guidelines issued by the Central Bank.
3. Promote the existence of efficient and fair financial services markets.
All officers and staff of the Central Bank are subject by law to a duty of confidentiality with respect to knowledge gained in the performance of their duties, as to the affairs of all persons regulated by the Central Bank.
FISD uses a risk based supervisory framework, comprising of on-site examinations, off-site monitoring and ad hoc analyses to assess the continued safety and soundness of regulated entities. This framework places emphasis on the significant areas of risk at the institution and the governance, systems and controls instituted by the institution to mitigate the risks it faces.
In addition FISD conducts examinations and reviews reports to ensure that licensees comply with all regulatory laws, regulations and guidelines. The Regulator has the authority to impose sanctions where breaches occur and to issue compliance directions for breaches or where there are instances of unsound and unsafe practices or conditions among licensees.
FISD also makes recommendations for the enactment of new regulations/enhanced legislation or issue guidelines where necessary to keep pace with local and international trends and the dynamic environment in which regulated entities operate.
The Central Bank is one of the three named Supervisory Authorities in the FOR. The two other Supervisory Authorities are the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) for financial entities registered under the Securities Act and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIU) for listed businesses and other financial institutions not regulated by the Central Bank or the TTSEC. The three Supervisory Authorities in order to carry out their mandate effectively must cooperate and share information with each other to the extent that their laws permit. As such, in 2014, bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (“MoU”) were established between the three (3) Supervisory Authorities to establish a formal basis of cooperating and information exchange between the Authorities in areas of common interest, and in particular with regard to the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. A review of these bilateral MOUs was undertaken in 2018 in consultation with both the FIUTT and TTSEC, with the intention of broadening the areas for collaboration. Consequently, on July 17, 2019 the Central Bank, the FIU and the TTSEC signed a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding which includes operating protocols, for the sharing of appropriate and confidential information, coordinating supervisory activities and undertaking collaborative work in matters of common interest.