AMBD bolsters public trust in financial system

Izah Azahari

The key benefits of a stable financial system are trust and public confidence in financial institutions. To retain public trust, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) requires financial institutions to meet international standards by issuing laws, notices or guidelines. AMBD also supervises licencees to ensure they are compliant with AMBD’s standard by making payments and looking after the public’s money and assets.

This was revealed by AMBD Deputy Managing Director (Regulatory and Supervision) Hajah Rashidah binti Haji Sabtu at a panel discussion on ‘Safeguarding Financial Stability’ that focussed on the role and functions of AMBD’s Regulatory and Supervision Department during the AMBD 10th Anniversary Seminar at The Rizqun International Hotel yesterday.

Hajah Rashidah gave a presentation prior to the discussion.

The Deputy Managing Director said financial stability means that the financial wheels of the economy keep on turning even when the conditions become difficult, such as during the 2007 global financial crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

She said AMBD safeguards BND22.3 billion in financial sector assets, BND16.4 billion in deposits at banks and finance companies, and supervise 738 licencees including agents and representatives.

ABOVE & BELOW: Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam Deputy Managing Director (Regulatory and Supervision) Hajah Rashidah binti Haji Sabtu; and panellists during the discussion on ‘Safeguarding Financial Stability’. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

She said robust legal and regulatory framework allows AMBD to carry out its work of ensuring financial stability.

Hajah Rashidah said the department is responsible for administering 26 laws and regulations. In the 10 years of AMBD’s establishment, it introduced 112 notices and 57 guidelines.

For individuals or businesses that offer financial services without licence from AMBD, she said they will be fined, imprisoned or both. AMBD will add them to the AMBD Alert List published on its website. Individuals or businesses suspected of conducting illegal activities will also be added to the list.

Addressing public queries on foreign exchange and cryptocurrency trading, she said these activities are not under AMBD’s purview if done by individuals using their own accounts. If they use money from other people, it is a breach of AMBD’s laws.

The Deputy Managing Director also touched on then Ministry of Finance’s capping policy to address rising personal financing and outstanding credit card balances in 2005 which were transferred to AMBD.

She said AMBD is confident that financial literacy leads to better quality of life and helps in achieving Brunei Vision 2035. “AMBD will continue its efforts to increase financial literacy awareness in society.”

AMBD Executive Director (Banking Policy) Pengiran Haji Shahrulazmi bin Pengiran Dr Haji Ismail, AMBD Executive Director (Banking Supervision) Hajah Noridah binti Haji Yusof and AMBD Head of Financial Consumer Issues Rina Hayane binti Haji Sumardi were panellists at the discussion.

AMBD Executive Director (Capital Market) Dayangku Hajah Faadzilah binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Abu Bakar was the moderator.