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E. Jay Saunders and Team spearhead landmark change in Public Financial Management; Budget ROLL-OVERS now approved 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, April 7, 2024 – For the first time since 2012, significant changes have been made to the Public Financial Management (PFM) framework of the Turks and Caicos, giving the Government more say over how it spends the people’s money, erasing the need for any back and forth with the British.  It is a change E Jay Saunders, former deputy premier, credits to him and his team when he served as the Minister of Finance.

“I picked that up, marked it up and said it was too restrictive. We negotiated that at the Cabinet level and the PS negotiated it with the technocrats in the UK,” he told Magnetic Media in an exclusive interview on March 28.

The new PFM allows for three main things:

  •  It raises the debt limits that the country can borrow without needing approval from the UK
  • It mandates strict timelines to ensure a timely budget each year.
  • It makes provisions for more money to rollover from any surplus that is gained into the next budget giving TCIG more ‘spending money’

“It increased the borrowing guidelines, it allows us more money, allows us to finance debts, and the goal is to increase what we can use for financing on a yearly basis; we can borrow more, we can spend more money for finance during the year,” Saunders said.

The former finance minister also  told us that every time a budget was late it gave the government less time to complete their objectives. Specific clauses were included in the new PFM in order to put an end to that.

Before the budget can be approved a Fiscal and Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) must be sent to the United Kingdom outlining the budget objectives for the respective financial year; only after that is assessed by the UK and returned to local politicians can they table and debate the budget for approval.

Under the new PFM that must be handed into the UK in January giving them several weeks to pour over it and return it in time for a March budget.

”What it does is give all the departments 12 months to execute. By changing the PFM, I put our government and all future governments in the position where they can deliver the budget before the financial year starts.”

Saunders says the observance of Holy Week was the only reason why the 2024/2025 budget was not debated prior to April 1.  Easter fell earlier this year.

Hon Saunders explained that whenever a surplus was recorded, the money didn’t go back into the budget.

“A significant portion of it had to go to the National Wealth Fund, and you would never see it again, unless under special circumstances.”

That fund powers a few select projects and once money is in it, the process to get it out is extremely complicated, Saunders explained.  With changes to the PFM more money from any surplus will remain in government hands, allowing them to reuse it for capital projects and more.

The document mandates that if the actual revenue exceeds the estimated revenue by: 5% but is less than 20%, then only 50% of the excess of the revenue for that financial year has to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund and deposited to the National Wealth Fund.

If the actual revenue is 20% or more, 70% of the excess of the revenue for that financial year will go to the Wealth Fund.

Saunders says he wanted those percentages to be higher, but is pleased nonetheless.

”While it still has a feel of us losing, we’re not going to be losing as much as we would in a normal financial year, because a higher portion gets rolled over to the new financial year.”

He explained why the 2012 version of the framework could have been so restrictive.

”It saw the TCI at a time when the constitution had gotten suspended, the government had gotten put out of office, the SIPT investigations were starting, and the country had just gotten a $200 million loan that was guaranteed by the UK government,” he explained.

With over ten years passed since then, in 2023 Saunders said he revisited the document of his own accord and began the process of updating it. When it was all over he says he got the seal of approval from the UK personally, providing for the media, a letter addressed to him by David Rutley, FCDO Head, which congratulated Saunders and TCIG on their prudent management of the country’s finances.

For Saunders it is an indication of what can be achieved with more work.

”This might have been the first time one of these frameworks was sent back to be re-negotiated. It clearly shows now they have an appetite to say there is enough distance between the constitution being suspended. Now we’ve seen enough evidence that TCI can run a good government, now we’re willing to ease up.”

He expressed disappointment that he was unable to tackle other similar frameworks left behind by the British after the interim administration, like the pesky Procurement Ordinance and says, had he been allowed, those would’ve been next on his list.

The finance portfolio was shifted back to the premier in a messy squabble over their party’s leadership.  Saunders now occupies the backbench.

Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, TCI Governor signed the PFM into law since January.

Caribbean News





Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, has informed that the current inflation target for the Bank of Jamaica will remain at four to six per cent.

Dr. Clarke made the announcement during a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 7).

He explained that the process for setting and renewing the target was codified into law via the Bank of Jamaica Amendment Act 2020, which, among other things, formally introduced Jamaica’s inflation targeting regime.

Dr. Clarke stated that in April 2021, after consultation with the Bank of Jamaica, documents were tabled advising of the renewal of the inflation target of four to six per cent, which was effective for three years.

“Following consultation with the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, who is also Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee, I confirm and have so tabled documents advising that the inflation target for Jamaica, calculated as the 12-month point-to-point percentage change in the consumer price index as measured by STATIN, will remain at four per cent to six per cent for the next three years,” Dr. Clarke said.

“The midpoint of this range of five per cent will be the operational target for the Monetary Policy Committee. This target remains consistent with Jamaica’s economic structure and stage of development,” he added.

The Minister noted that a lower inflation target than what currently obtains would require higher interest rates for longer, which could be detrimental to growth and to fiscal dynamics.

Furthermore, Dr. Clarke said Jamaica’s recent experience has highlighted that there are constraints to targeting a lower inflation rate at this time.

“In particular, the frequency of economic shocks, labour market rigidities, low productivity, a weak monetary transmission system and regulated price adjustments, constrain the ability of the Bank of Jamaica to deliver a lower inflation rate than what is currently targeted in the near term,” the Minister said.

Dr. Clarke stated that these constraints speak to inherent challenges that as a country “we must tackle if we are to target and enjoy the levels of inflation of our main trading partners”.

“Going forward, I will support all efforts to ameliorate these constraints. On the other hand, setting the target higher than four per cent to the six per cent range would be problematic for most Jamaicans who do not have the independent means to protect themselves against higher targeted inflation,” he noted.

Dr. Clarke explained that it is for these reasons that the inflation target for Jamaica, calculated as the 12-month point-to-point percentage change in the consumer price index as measured by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), will remain at four to six per cent for the next three years.




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#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2024 – For the fourth consecutive year, Scotiabank Turks & Caicos has secured the ‘Best Bank’ award from renowned North American finance magazine, Global Finance.

The award celebrates banks that demonstrate strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in onboarding clients to use digital offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and website and mobile app design and functionality.

Dr. Suzan Snaggs-Wilson, Managing Director for Scotiabank Turks & Caicos said the bank continues to make significant investments in its digital infrastructure to satisfy its customers’ needs. She further lauded her team’s commitment to the bank’s digital transformation, noting that their encouragement among customers solidified the strong adaptation witnessed.

“At Scotiabank, we remain committed to proactively assessing and working to meet the needs of our customers through accessible and easy-to-use banking solutions that enhance their experience. This award underscores our strategic commitment to advancing accessibility and convenience across our services, and we take great pride in being honored with the esteemed Best Bank award for the fourth time running,” she said.

Dr. Snaggs-Wilson also highlighted the Bank’s convenient and customer-focused approach to banking positively impacted its client interactions and satisfaction.

The annual World’s Best Bank award selects the top performers among banks and other providers of financial services and has become a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community. The magazine recognized 28 banks in Latin America and the Caribbean in this year’s 31st announcement.

Scotiabank Turks & Caicos joins its regional counterparts in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and The Bahamas, in receiving the award.

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Caribbean News

RBC appoints new Head of Caribbean Banking



NASSAU, April 21, 2024 – RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited, (“RBC”) has appointed Chris Duggan, a  native of the Cayman Islands, as Senior Vice President and Head of RBC Caribbean Banking, effective  April 1, 2024. He succeeds Chris Ronald, who has been leading the bank’s operations in the Caribbean  for the last 2.5 years and has recently returned to Canada as Regional President, Atlantic Provinces at  RBC.  

Duggan, who is based in Nassau, The Bahamas, is taking on responsibilities as Head of RBC Caribbean  Banking to carry out the bank’s strategic direction and manage the overall business strategy and vision across the Caribbean region. He has a career spanning more than two decades in the financial industry  across both the United States and the Caribbean. 

Most recently, he was the Cayman Islands Government Representative to North America, in Washington  DC, primarily focussed on financial services. Prior to his tenure for the Cayman Islands Government, he  served as a senior executive at DART Family Office and Butterfield Bank. 

RBC’s Executive Vice President, Personal Financing Products, Erica Nielsen said “We’re delighted to  welcome Chris to RBC. Born and raised in the Caribbean, Chris has a deep understanding of the  regional financial landscape and a passion for representing the culture. He is highly driven, outcome focused, and passionate about building trusted relationships with clients, communities, and employees.  His appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to the region. I am confident that under Chris’  leadership, Caribbean Banking will continue to grow and serve our clients and communities.” 

As an active member of the communities where he lives and works, he has held leadership roles on the  boards of numerous charitable organizations over the years. Duggan was awarded the Queen’s  Certificate and Badge of Honour in recognition of his outstanding service to the Cayman Islands  community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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