Namfisa learnt from FIMA fiasco

Tujoromajo Kasuto

After massive national backlash from affected stakeholders of the Financial Institutions and Markets Act (FIMA) pension preservation regulation, the new strategic plan for the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) will focus primarily on three overarching themes that will drive the organisational strategy, namely Stakeholder

Engagement, Operational efficiency, and Innovation.

According to Namfisa Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Matomola, the new plan also aims to have more grass root level engagements and the postponement of the implementation amid intense pressure from various stakeholders to drop the contentious clause on compulsory preservation of retirement benefits will have no effect on the new 2022-2027 strategic plan of launched today.

‘’We want to bring NAMFISA services closer to the people and in this strategy we move to the grass root, so they will be able to access our services,’’ he said.

Matomola said in the meantime they will refocus on having the amendments to the FIMA and NAMFISA Acts passed by Parliament.

The amendments relate to the cross-referencing to the Financial Services Adjudicator Bill, (FSA Bill) that is kept in abeyance by the Minister of Finance.

‘’FIMA was supposed to be implemented by the first of October and we foresee that the implementation would take much time and therefore given what needs to happen the removal of cross referencing might move quickly and the FIMA Act will not affect our strategy. Once FSA BILL amendments have been passed by Parliament and assented to by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Namibia, a date for the implementation of FIMA and NAMFISA Acts will be determined by the Minister of Finance,’’ he said.

Key to the NAMFISA Strategy is the reform in the way in which NAMFISA will be regulating and supervising the Non-banking Financial Sector.

‘’Under this reform, NAMFISA will shift from compliance or rule based supervision to Risk Based Supervision (RBS). RBS will allow NAMFISA to focus its limited resources on the areas that pose the greatest risk to meeting regulatory objectives,’’ the CEO noted.

Meanwhile, Matomola said the process of finalising the subordinate legislation (i.e.Standards and Regulations) to be issued under FIMA is going well and will be completed as planned.

The object of FIMA is to consolidate and harmonise the laws regulating financial institutions, financial intermediaries and financial markets in Namibia as well as to provide for incidental matters.

He reiterated that FIMA takes a wider approach not only to address prudential matters but advocates for issues of market conduct and governance.

‘’In particular, the objectives of FIMA are to foster the financial soundness of financial institutions and financial intermediaries, the stability of the financial institutions and markets sector, and the highest standards of conduct of business by financial institutions and financial intermediaries.’’

Additionally, to foster fairness, efficiency and orderliness of the financial institutions and markets sector, the protection of consumers of financial services and the promotion of public awareness and understanding of financial institutions and financial intermediaries and the reduction and deterrence of financial crime.

By Observer