Mauritian banking legislation has been given an overhaul following the introduction of a new Banking...
Mauritian banking legislation has been given an overhaul following the introduction of a new Banking Bill with the main difference being the re-categorisation of the onshore and offshore banking sectors into one.
The bill, which is the responsibility of deputy prime minister and finance minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, is the latest in a series of initiatives, the ultimate aim of which is to turn Mauritius into a mainstream financial centre.
There have been two banking licences available in the country - one for onshore and the other for offshore. Now there will be only one banking licence that the Bank of Mauritius will authorise.
Other new regulations include banks being required to publish a disclosure statement as well as a quarterly report within 45 days after the end of each calender quarter which is to be signed by its directors.
There must also be an appointment of an auditor for each bank that will report whether the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with international accounting standards and any prudential requirement set out in guidelines issued by the central bank.
Financial statements must be completely fair and properly drawn up and to have been prepared on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year.
To hold a licence a bank must have RUP200m ($7m) held in assets. Every bank must maintain Mauritian currency of not less than 10% or higher according to their risk assets. Each bank must also place 15% of the net profits in a reserve account.
Banks will have to undergo an independent assessment of credit worthiness and financial stability or undergo an independent appraisal to assess the value of its assets, in particular real estate and other related assets.
An independent assessment will also include whether or not the bank is adhering to banking laws in relation to anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorism.
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