The Currency Board and the Financial Services Supervision Department (FSSD) in the Cayman Islands are to be integrated into a single Monetary Authority in January 1997. Enabling legislation was passed by the Cayman Islands Government on Friday, 20 September.

The Monetary Authority's two main functions will be to manage the Cayman Islands' currency and its reserves and regulate the islands' financial industry. The FSSD is currently responsible for the regulation of 573 banks, 407 captive insurance companies, 32 licensed company managers and 1,241 mutual funds.

George McCarthy, the Cayman Island's Financial Secretary, said:

" The development of the Monetary Authority is a result of our continued commitment to review and enhance the strength of our regulatory regime to ensure that the confidence placed in the Cayman Islands by the international community is fostered. We see the presence of the Authority as an indication of the state of development of our economic and financial infrastructure which has led to our success as a premier financial centre."

Richard Chalmers from the Bank of England has been advising the Cayman Islands Government on how best to set up the Monetary Authority. It is expected that the new authority will encompass the current staff of 26 with additional recruitment in the first year bringing the number up to about 40. Other countries with established Monetary Authorities include Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain and Bermuda.

For further information or interviews:
Contact Jacqui Crane at the Cayman Islands Press Office

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