Business

Panel urges look at immigration-economy links

  • Expert advisers: three of the members of the Financial Policy Council, from left, Jeremy Cox, Sir Andrew Large and Michael Butt

An expert panel has urged Government to review the possible linkages between immigration policy reform and sustained economic growth.

Members of the Financial Policy Council made the recommendation after their latest meeting.

The prospect of declining demographics represent a major risk to Bermuda’s government finances, in particular as it relates to sustained funding for healthcare and pension benefits, the council said.

FPC members also discussed Bermuda’s fiscal situation and debt outlook at the meeting.

While noting the improvement in the medium-term fiscal outlook in the wake of decisions taken in recent budgets, FPC members urged Government to continue to identify ways of making progress in reducing the large level of outstanding government debt.

Several areas of Bermuda’s emerging fintech sector were also discussed during the meeting, including the regulatory framework for digital asset business firms and initial coin offerings.

Members reviewed some international comparisons and examined the balance of risks and opportunities emerging from fintech, and how best to promote the further development of Bermuda’s fintech sector, while ensuring that Bermuda’s reputation as a world-class international financial centre was robustly protected.

FPC members also discussed the work under way in Bermuda aimed at strengthening the jurisdiction’s resilience to cyber incidents, including measures taken by the Bermuda Government, regulated financial institutions and the BMA, as well as activities under way at the Ministry of Finance and the BMA with respect to continuing with the development of a resolution framework for Bermuda banks.

Set up in 2015, the role of the FPC is to assess possible threats to Bermuda’s financial stability, and to identify policies and actions to mitigate or eliminate such threats. It also advises Government on the development of the financial stability framework in Bermuda, and makes policy recommendations designed to support the general economic and financial wellbeing of the country.

Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, chairs the FPC. He is joined on the council by deputy chair Sir Andrew Large, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and now an adviser to central banks and governments; Jeremy Cox, the BMA executive chairman; Michael Butt, chairman of Axis Capital Holdings Ltd; businesswoman Dame Amelia Fawcett, who is also a non-executive member of Her Majesty’s Treasury Board; chartered accountant Gil Tucker, former Bermuda managing partner at Ernst & Young, and now on the board of HSBC Bermuda; and DeLisle Worrell, former governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, and now a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Dr Worrell also worked with the International Monetary Fund, focusing on monetary policy, financial stability and stress testing.