TTSEC acting CEO Lystra Lucillio.

The T&T Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) is host to the 9th Technical Assistance Programme for financial sector regulators in the Caribbean, being facilitated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC).

In a release the TTSEC remarked that this year, as a result of COVID-19, the programme is being conducted via a virtual platform on an eight-day period October 19 – November 16, 2020. The days will not run consecutively.

According to the local regulator, the TTSEC – US SEC collaboration on training and development dates back to 2006, when specialised training opportunities were offered for regulators within the financial services industry in the Caribbean.

At the opening of the programme, Lystra Lucillio, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the TTSEC said the COVID- 19 pandemic has impacted on, and continues to, shape the way in which we interact and conduct business.

Lucillio contended that transitioning from physical and direct contact to virtual and contactless delivery of services – this virtual training has now expanded the opportunity for learning to many more participants locally as well as regionally.

She said: “We are pleased to be a part of engendering growth and development, across our financial sectors.”

For the current programme, there are participants from the Caribbean Group of Securities Regulators (CGSR) to which the TTSEC is a member, including the Barbados Financial Services Commission, Bermuda Monetary Authority, BVI Financial Services Commission, Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission and at the local stakeholder level, the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s – Financial Investigations Branch and the Fraud Squad.

In his remarks, Kester Guy, Chairman of CGSR and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Commission, acknowledged the relevance of the areas of focus to the growing demands across various landscapes.

He indicated that “the benefits to be derived will yield exponential returns, not just for our individual jurisdiction, but for the region as a whole.”

According to Guy, although the circumstances of this year may have physically separated participants, technology enables them to gather virtually, thus allowing continued access to the expertise and technical assistance that would empower regional regulators and organizations to confront, head on, the many issues they face.

At the end of the first day Kurt Gresenz, Senior Assistant Director in the US SEC’s Office of International Affairs noted, “We are pleased to be part of this program hosted by the TTSEC, as we have a long history of cooperation with authorities across the Caribbean and around the world.”

Gresenz expressed that as the participants in the programme discuss their experiences and best practices, they can learn from one other on how best to address any challenges and further their shared investor protection goals.

According to the TTSEC, the Technical Assistance Programme would expose participants to training on a range of topics with bearing on the financial services industry such as: Compliance Inspections and Examinations; Developing a Corporation Finance Function; Oversight of FINRA and Building an Effective Self- Regulatory Programme; FinTech, Digital Assets and Initial Coin Offerings and Financing Small and Medium Sized-Enterprises.

The local regulator said that the programme would place focus on challenges currently facing regulators in T&T and regionally and cover best practices within capital markets, to maximize both investor protection and market development.