Single Market for Insurance and Pensions (SIPMP)

News

SIPMP News and Announcements

SIPMP Extended for One Year

The budget of the SIPMP was approved at a meeting of the Monetary Council held on February 15, 2019. The SIPMP has been extended for a period of one (1) year in the first instance, to accommodate delivery of the ECCU Uniform Insurance Bill and to consider the Organization and Funding Options of the proposed Single Regulator.



Eleanor Astaphan
SIPMP Change Management Strategy Meeting- St Kitts. July 2, 2018

The SIPMP Change Management Strategy meeting,  hosted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank took place in St Kitts on July 2, 2018. The meeting was attended by ECCU Regulatory Heads, Representatives of the Attorney Generals Chambers, Representatives of Ministries of Finance and ECCB staff.

In opening remarks, Mr. Calixte Leon, Executive Director of the St Lucia FSRA, who spoke on behalf of Hon. PM  Allen Chastanet, noted the inevitable  need to adapt to circumstances in order to thrive and succeed as a Region. He also emphasized the need for purpose and direction in any change and involvement of change agents in the plan.

Chairman of the ECCU Technical Core Committee and the Joint Committee, Mr. Whitfield Harris, outlined the history of the SIPMP and its alignment with the aspirations, objectives and purpose of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. He cited the project as  a specific response to the increasingly difficult environment  confronting  regulators, policy holders, legislators and other interested parties.

In his remarks, Governor of the ECCB, Mr. Timothy Antoine referenced recent international discussions on the post crisis financial agenda. He noted the SIPMP and the Single Insurance Regulator as an important element in crisis preparedness, similar to the single regulator for banks and securities within the ECCU. He cited the importance of  work on deposit insurance for banks , credit unions and Non- Bank financial institutions, in light of potential contagion risks due to the inter-connectedness of the sectors. Governor Antoine was hopeful that the ECCU could replicate the high level of co-operation exhibited by the international countries in addressing the financial agenda and urged reflection and collective action of the ECCU in moving ahead.

The one day meeting was facilitated by change management experts in public sector reform in Jamaica, Ms. Candace Smikle and Ms. Hilary Delmarre. 

Presentations made at the event can be found on the Publication page.

Eleanor Astaphan
ECCB TO HOST SIPMP CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY MEETING

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank will be hosting a 2- day meeting on July 2-3, 2018 in St Kitts.

The SIPMP Change Management meeting will be attended by ECCU Regulatory Heads, Representatives of the Ministries of Finance and Representatives of the Attorneys General Offices., to discuss the transition strategy for implementation of the single market.

The 20th Regulatory Oversight Committee Meeting will be held on Day 2.

Documents for the meeting can be found at the following link:-
 

Eleanor Astaphan
Monetary Council Approves ECFSC Agreement and ECFSC Bill at 90th Meeting

The Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has considered and approved ratification of the Eastern Caribbean Financial Services (ECFSC) Agreement which will establish the ECFSC as the regulatory and supervisory body for non-banks in the ECCU member territories.

At the February 2018 meeting, Council also approved passage of the ECFSC Agreement Bill in each member territory, which will give legal force to the ECFSC Agreement.

Eleanor Astaphan
Joint Committee Holds Regulator and Industry Fora to Discuss Project Progress

The Joint Committee for the SIPMP convened two meetings on November 22, 2017, with the ECCU Regulators and the Insurance and Pensions Industry Representatives, respectively.

The meeting outlined the progress of the SIPMP Work Program  over the past 9 months, looking at the major components of the 2017 Work Program.. An outline is summarized below: 

1.0 Project Organization and Reactivation: The Project Management Office has been established in St Vincent and the Grenadines and a Work Program and Budget was adopted by the Joint Committee in May 2017. Three Working Groups/Sub-Committees comprised of Regulators and Industry representatives are functional and detailed Terms of Reference for the Core Committee,  Joint Committee and the Sub-Committees have been adopted. In addition, a comprehensive Terms of Reference for the technical assistance required for the project has been compiled. The project has benefited through CARTAC,  from the technical expertise of Morneau Shepell, a Canadian based consulting and regulatory firm as well as a St Lucian based company, Legislative Drafting Consultants LLC. 

2.0 Establishment of the Legislative Framework: Progress with the ECCU Uniform Insurance and Pension Bill and the ancillary legislation, the Eastern Caribbean Financial Services Commission (ECFSC)Agreement and the ECFSC Bill is as follows:

  • ECCU Uniform Insurance and Pension Bill: Review of Part 14- Association of Underwriters, Part 19- Pension Plans and Part 8- Statutory Funds and Pledged Assets is in process. This is coordinated through the Working Groups with direct interface with the technical experts. Final agreed drafting instructions in respect of Parts 14 and 19 are targeted for December 2017, with Part 8 recommendations to be finalized by February 2018. Work on the remaining technical aspect of the law- Solvency Guidelines and Fines and Penalties will commence in 2018.
  • ECFSC Agreement/Agreement Bill: The Agreement and Agreement Bill has had two rounds of circulation to the  ECCU Attorneys General. A final version of the legislation was circulated in November2017 and will be on the Agenda of the next Monetary Council meeting during the first quarter of 2018. Ratification of the Agreement is also targeted for the first quarter of 2018.

3.0 Establishment of the Single Regulator, ECFSC: In August this year, a Request For Proposal(RFP) was submitted to each ECCU jurisdiction. This was an invitation for submission of bids by participating Governments for the location of the ECFSC Headquarters. Copy of the RFP is available on the Publication Page. Bids received are under evaluation and will be submitted for decision of the Monetary Council during the first quarter of 2018.

The Levy Impact Sub-Committee has also commenced work on the funding options for the ECFSC. Statistical information on existing fees, taxes and levies has already been collected through survey from the Regulatory Authorities and the Ministry of Finance in each jurisdiction. Various existing  funding models of regional based organizations will also inform the work of the Sub-Committee.

4.0 Establishment of an External Disputes Resolution Mechanism:- This is an important aspect of the SIPMP and seeks to address an existing gap regarding consumer protection and recourse in relation to financial services in the ECCU. This is targeted for 2018 and technical assistance requests are being made for this aspect of the work program.

5.0 Public Awareness and Stakeholder Engagement: Keeping stakeholders informed and providing avenues for communication and feedback to the project remain a priority. This has been primarily accomplished through regular reports at each meeting of the Monetary Council and by launch of the SIMPM website. The Project Manager has also engaged Regional Regulators in presentations on the SIPMP, made at the Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators and Caribbean Association of Pension Supervisors Annual Meetings held in Jamaica in July, 2017. The Project Management Office has also accepted, and remains open to industry invitation to participate in events in which project updates and trends in insurance and financial services regulation have been the subject of discussions.

The forum held on November 22, 2017 was the second such event for the year, the earlier meetings having taken place in February and April of 2017.

6.0 Reporting and Risk Management: The Joint Committee provides direct oversight of the Project and reporting is achieved at three levels on a monthly and quarterly basis- the Monetary Council, the ECCU Technical Core Committee on Insurance and the Joint Committee. In addition, a detailed Risk Register which documents and rates identified risks to successful project implementation, complete with triggers and contingency plans, is maintained, updated on a quarterly basis and reviewed by the Core and Joint Committees.

The major challenge experienced to date was the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which impacted timelines and quite understandably, shifted focus of the participating governments. One of the  significant risks also identified , is the availability of technical assistance for specific  areas of the work program. Efforts to secure appropriate expertise are on-going, with the assistance of the ECCB.

7.0 Planned Event: A two- day Change Management Seminar is planned for May/June 2018 and will seek to bring together Regulators and Industry Representatives to discuss the impact and changes resulting from the SIPMP. The seminar will address coping with  change and the role of Stakeholders in effecting successful change. NOTE: This event is contingent on available funding and further details will  be circulated upon finalization of funding and other arrangements.

Eleanor Astaphan
A.M. Best Predicts Impact of Hurricane Maria on Caribbean and Puerto Rico Insurers Manageable

  In its latest Report, post a review of preliminary loss data received from rated insurers in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico , A.M. Best has stated that it does not anticipate any Credit Rating actions at this time.

This follows a preliminary Briefing released just before the Region prepared for Hurricane Maria, in which concerns were expressed about the potential financial impact on Caribbean and Puerto Rican insurers. Modeled insured loss estimates ranged from US$15 billion to US$85 billion. These loss estimates included wind, storm surge and flood damages in the United States and the Caribbean. 

Based on preliminary loss information received, A.M Best indicates that the loss estimates from Hurricane Maria, although large, have not breached the insurance companies' net catastrophe reinsurance limits. Furthermore, loss estimates are likely to remain within each company's reinsurance coverage limits and risk tolerance.

The insurance rating and information source says that it will continue to monitor the market and its impact on rated entities.

 

Eleanor Astaphan
ECCB Governor Launches Strategic Plan 2017-2021

In a Region wide launch of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank's Strategic Plan 2017-2021, Governor Timothy Antoine outlined the institution's corporate goals over the 5 year period, with strong emphasis on the Bank's mandate for promoting economic development and driving much needed socio-economic transformation in the sub-region.

Among the ECCB's top priorities of maintaining a strong EC Dollar and building a resilient and diversified financial sector, Governor Antoine referenced the plans for closer collaboration with the OECS Commission in the implementation of the Treaty of Basseterre. Other initiatives in train and to be to pursued over the period, included establishment of a Deposit Insurance Fund, a regional Credit Bureau, implementation of a Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, establishment of the SIPMP and the integrated Regulator, ECFSC, for Insurance, Pensions and Credit Unions,  publication of an ECCB Financial Stability Report and promotion of fiscal debt legislation.

Governor Antoine stressed the need for immediate and active participation and collaboration of regional Governments, development partners and all stakeholders in supporting the work of the ECCB in attaining the ultimate objective of a better quality of life for ECCU citizens.

The full text of the ECCB Strategic Plan 2017-2021 is available at www.eccb-centralbank.org.

Eleanor Astaphan
St Lucia PM, Hon. Allen M. Chastanet Calls for Deeper Regional Integration and International Outreach

On the occasion of the 36th Anniversary of the OECS Grouping, Prime Minister of St. Lucia and Chairman of the OECS, Hon. Allen Chastanet, made reference to the difficult and hostile terrain to be navigated inour quest for development and modernization. He referred to the Treaty of Basseterre as a means to do so, saying that focused attention should be given to itsimplementation in order to leverage the integration movement, to tackle the Region's common economic, financial and social ills.

In addition to deepening relationships, he called on the OECS to assert itself internationally to extend diplomatic outreach to new partners who pursue common objectives and adopt principles consistent with those of the OECS.

Eleanor Astaphan
Revised Timelines for Submission of Request For Proposal

Following the disruptions caused by thepassage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, an additional three (3) weeks has been granted to allow member governments sufficient time to submit Requests for Proposal for hosting of the Head Office of the Eastern Caribbean Financial Services Commission (ECFSC). The revised dates are as follows:

Action Key Dates

Governments to consider RFP (9 weeks): 2 August 2017 – 4 October 2017

Due date for Government proposals:5:00pm Tuesday 10 October 2017

Joint Committee to request supplementary information /

    Clarification from Governments: 17 October 2017

Governments’ Final Submission Date for supplementary information:31 October 2017

Consideration of proposals by Joint Committee: 6 – 17 November 2017

Joint Committee Recommendation to Core Committee: 22 November 2017

Monetary Council meeting to consider recommendation: [TBA]

 

Questions and Clarification

Any questions on the process or specifications can be submitted in writing to:

Mr. Whitfield Harris, Chairman-  whitfield.harris@ab.gov.ag

Ms. Eleanor Astaphan, Project Manager – Eleanor.astaphan@eccb-centralbank.org

To ensure transparency, Questions and Answers will be circulated to all Cabinet and Financial Secretaries.

 

 

Issued By:       The Joint Committee for the Establishment of a Single Insurance and Pensions Market in the ECCU.

Eleanor Astaphan
CARTAC Provides Technical Assistance to the SIPMP

The Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) has approved a request for technical insurance and pension expertise for the SIPMP.

Mr. Al Kiel, Managing Partner responsible for Morneau Shepell’s Consulting Practice in Ontario, Canada, and leader of the firm’s Global Consulting and Regulatory Practices, will be working with the SIPMP, its regional counterparts and Sub-Committees from August 16, 2017.

This TA activity is primarily focused on recommendations for finalization of the draft ECCU Uniform Insurance and Pensions Bill, in respect of the Pension Fund Provisions, Associations of Underwriters and the Statutory Fund and Pledged Assets regime for insurers operating across the ECCU.

Eleanor Astaphan
Request For Proposal Dispatched to Member Governments

A formal Request For Proposal (RFP), was dispatched to each member jurisdiction, following approval of the Monetary Council at its July 21, 2017 meeting. 

The RFPs are submitted to the Cabinet Secretary and the Financial Secretary in each member territory, inviting interest and proposals for hosting the Head Office of the single integrated Eastern Caribbean Financial Services Commission.

Final submissions from each territory are due by 9 October, 2017. A copy of the RFP is available on the Publications page of this website....
 

Eleanor Astaphan
Presentations at the CAIR and CAPS Conferences 2017

Project Manager, Eleanor Astaphan apprised Caribbean Supervisors and Regulators of the SIPMP and its progress, at recently held conferences of the Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators and the Caribbean Association of Pensions Supervisors, June 19-23, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.

The CAIR and CAPS conferences are held annually with the assistance of CARTAC. Themes for this year's conferences were "Enhancing Financial Sector Supervision and Stability: Implementing a Risk-based Capital Regime" and "Advancing the Regulatory Agenda to Achieve Sustainable Pensions and Financial Stability, respectively.

Eleanor Astaphan
Appointment of Project Teams

Two project teams have been appointed to lead the work on the pension and statutory fund regime and the insurance levy impact study respectively.

The Pension Statutory Sub-Committee is chaired by Hubert DeLigny, Insurance Manager, Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Saint Lucia while the Insurance Levy Sub-Committee is chaired by Edwin Ambrose, Industry Representative, Antigua and Barbuda. 

Eleanor Astaphan
Stakeholder Outreach

The regional Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators Conference (CAIR) and the Caribbean Association of Pension Supervisors Conference (CAPS) were held in Jamaica on June 19-23, 2017. At these meetings the Project Manager made presentations updating the membership of these organizations on the implementations and progress of SIPMP. 

Eleanor Astaphan
Stakeholder Outreach

At the invitation of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Insurance Institute on June 15, 2017, the Project Manager addressed the membership, at a luncheon event, on the global insurance industry trends and the implications of the SIPMP.

See link for more information: https://www.tiisvg.com/training

Eleanor Astaphan
First Meeting of the Joint Committee Held

The first meeting of the reconstituted Joint Committee, comprised of government, industry and regulator representatives, was convened in Antigua and Barbuda on May 30, 2017. The Budget and Work Plan of the SIMPM, the Terms of Reference of the Joint Committee and the proposed constitution of Project teams were formally approved.

Eleanor Astaphan
Stakeholder Outreach

In an effort to update stakeholders on developments and progress with the SIPMP, separate forums were held with ECCU Regulators and Industry Representatives on February 21, 2017 and April 4,2017 respectively.

Eleanor Astaphan
Appointment of Project Manager

In February 2017, Eleanor Astaphan, former Deputy Executive Director of the Financial Services Authority in St Vincent and the Grenadines, was appointed as a full-time resource for the SIPMP and as a member of the Core Committee on Insurance.

Eleanor Astaphan
Consultations Held

Over the period January 2015 - September 2016, public consultations on the SIPMP were held with stakeholders in the eight member territories comprising the ECCU. A schedule of these consultations and the agenda can be found on the Publications page.

Eleanor Astaphan