The need for increased support in strengthening the implementation of international standards was established by a detailed survey which the Commonwealth Secretariat conducted among members in 2009. Participants in the survey unanimously identified the need for practical, on-the-ground support from experienced practitioners and highlighted the potential benefits of peer-to-peer learning.
'This is a important and very timely initiative, given the challenges faced by many jurisdictions, particularly small developing countries, in addressing the many issues laid out on the global regulatory agenda’ - The Central Bank of the Bahamas
In response to this mandate, the Secretariat established a network of regulators to promote co-operation among members and bring practical benefits to the conduct of regulation and supervision.
The Commonwealth Regulatory Network, among other things, acts as a medium for the placement of attachments and secondment of experts among member countries. The placements aim to help less advanced members tackle specific policy challenges, and provide support with policy and legislative reviews and updates.
The Network will enable a fuller understanding of the challenges facing developing Commonwealth countries in the implementation of global standards; offer a channel for identifying and helping fill strategic needs; and facilitate inputs into training and capacity-building. The Network also represents a specific contribution to collective Commonwealth efforts to promote an inclusive approach to global policy-making.
Around 10 senior officers from less developed member countries participated in an understudy/attachment at more advanced regulatory authorities and gained actual practice on supervision and management of practices of financial regulators. These have since made improvements to their home regulatory processes. For example, the participant from Rwanda used her experience in Trinidad and Tobago to propose a framework for a Financial Services Ombudsman in Rwanda; and helped examiners in St Lucia improve interaction with directors of firms, recognising the importance the latter played as stakeholders and the need to develop more healthy relationships.
Expert placements have led to the updating of policies and procedures and development of onsite manuals to guide supervision of financial institutions.
Isle of Man Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Guernsey Financial Services Commission, Malta Financial Services Authority, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago