Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

Wiredja Online News Logo

WiredJa Online News

JAMAICA | Gov't kills Fitz Jackson's Banking Services Bill

Featured Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson who introduced the  Banking Services Bill as a Private Members Motion three years ago, has vowed to reintroduce  the proposed legislation in the next legislative year. Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson who introduced the Banking Services Bill as a Private Members Motion three years ago, has vowed to reintroduce the proposed legislation in the next legislative year.
KINGSTON, Feb.14, 2018 - The Andrew Holness led JLP Government yesterday used its majority in the house of representatives to kill the Banking Services Bill piloted by opposition MP Fitz Jackson which was aimed at eliminating the thousands of dollars in fees that depositors have to pay for services at the island's commercial banks.

The Banking Services Bill ended up on the scrap heap yesterday after 30 government members voted to reject its passage  while 29 opposition legislators supporting the proposed law.

However, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson who introduced the Bill as a Private Members Motion three years ago, has vowed to reintroduce  the proposed legislation in the next legislative year.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw, who opened debate on the bill said in 2014, and again in 2015, the previous Government, of which Jackson was a member, had introduced provisions bringing the banks under extensive regulations.

He noted that this was complemented by the introduction of a banking code, which was approved under the current Government within six months of coming to power in 2016, adding regulations under which the Bank of Jamaica would increasingly regulate the commercial banking sector.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw, in a statement to the House, said it is competition which will have to drive down bank fees.
 
He said the government has issued two additional commercial banking licences which increased the number of players in the sector.
 
According to the Finance Minister, 95 per cent of what Mr. Jackson is seeking to have put into law is already contained in the Banking Services Act.
 
"This is not a contentious issue you know. This is an instructural issue. I am simply pointing out to the member and to the members on that other side, who were the government in 2014, that I have sighted 13 or 14 things that the bill, this private members' bill ask for that are already in a bill that you passed in 2014," Shaw said. 

He added that under the current administration, the banking code of conduct has been implemented by the Bank of Jamaica.

In closing the debate, Jackson accused both Samuda and Shaw of hypocrisy, claiming that they had supported his arguments in the previous debates.

Jackson also responded to Shaw's claim that nearly all the proposals in the new Bill are already addressed or being addressed, stating that his Bill was reviewed by the Government's chief parliamentary counsel to ensure that there was no “contradiction”.

“The Bill will be tabled again in the next legislative year, and we are going to keep voting on it,” Jackson said.

"Our foremost duty as MPs is to protect the interest of the majority of Jamaicans. Prime Minister Holness and all the JLP Members chose to protect the Banks in continuing to take MANY BILLIONS of dollars from ordinary Jamaicans by various fees. This is worst than having your money taken at gunpoint, as no one will be arrested and charged. This is heartless and wicked!" Jackson noted in a Facebook post on his timeline.

"Now that the lines are drawn, we MUST fight. I will again table the Bill in the new Legislative Year, next month and seek AGAIN AND AGAIN to have it pass. If that fails, within 30 days of the PNP having the majority in Parliament, the Bill will become law to protect depositors. This is a COMMITMENT," the embattled St. Catherine Member of Parliament declared.

Last modified onWednesday, 14 February 2018 15:55
  • Countries: Jamaica

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.