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Bermuda Consults Industry On New Conduct Of Business Regime

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Bermuda Monetary Authority on December 15, 2020, released a new consultation paper on its proposal for a conduct of business regulatory regime to better protect retail investors.

Bermuda's financial services regulator had discussed potentially introducing a conduct of business oversight regime in August 2020. At that time, the BMA released a discussion paper on the topic.

The paper noted international work in this area, including by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which has been endorsed by the G-20 and OECD. The paper said that Bermuda will look at the model in place in Ireland, where the Central Bank of Ireland has responsibility for both prudential regulation and conduct of business and consumer protection concerns for multiple sectors including banking, insurance and securities.

The newly released consultation paper says the principles of good conduct of business would be centered on the following expectations – a firm must:

  • ensure fair and equitable treatment of its customers;
  • have continuing regard for the interests of its customers in the conduct of its business;
  • ensure that communications with customers are fair, clear and not misleading;
  • ensure the protection of the customer's assets against loss, fraud and misuse;
  • handle complaints and errors in a manner that is fair and expedient; and
  • ensure that, when dealing with retail customers, it ensures individuals are aware of their responsibilities within the business relationship and have access to appropriate financial educational resources.

Feedback is being invited on the proposed regime until February 15, 2021.