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Central Bank governor: Web shops need financial sector integration to enter banking sector

Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Apr 13, 2017

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While Central Bank of The Bahamas Governor John Rolle did not shut down the idea of web shop owners applying for a bank license, he warned that establishing a financial institution in The Bahamas still requires integration into the global financial community. And he noted that an interested applicant should consider its viability in the international market beforehand.

In an interview with Guardian Business yesterday, Rolle stressed that any applicant has to comply and meet all requirements of the regulator.

“Nobody in The Bahamas has a God-given right to a bank license, you have to earn it,” Rolle said.

He explained that the qualifications for getting a bank license do not depend on “how much money you have”, but on meeting the established requirements outlined by the regulator.

Last year, web shops were granted official licenses allowing them to operate as legal entities. Guardian Business questioned the governor on whether or not a web shop operator would now be able to apply for a bank license.

Rolle said the application process for any interested party is available on the regulator’s website. He talked about it in a general context, what a prospective licensee has to consider before entering the application process.

“When you get a banking license in a globally connected world, you expect to be a bank in a globally connected world,” said Rolle.

“Whatever the standards are that apply, and people playing in that globally collective world, those standards don’t vary just because you’re in The Bahamas.

“If we kid ourselves into thinking that they vary, your attempt to do something here will still fail.”

A part of the process in establishing a financial institution is considering whether that operation would be integrated into the international financial community, according to Rolle.

“A financial institution that is not integrated into the financial community is not a viable financial institution. It will not get off the ground,” he said.

“Most of the time when somebody comes to a regulator for those sorts of considerations, they have already determined, based upon what the global environment is, whether they have a viable path. That viability they have to determine on their own.”


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Last Updated on Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:21

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