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21st of July 2018

Economy



MPs back fintech development fund | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Business

Jonathan Bell, Lisa Simpson

Published Jul 2, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 1, 2018 at 11:42 pm)

Fintech development: David Burt

Fintech development: David Burt

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Parliament has approved the creation of a fintech development fund for training Bermudians.

David Burt, the Premier, told Parliament that companies investing in Bermuda were investing millions to develop the island’s fintech sector and boost sporting clubs.

Disbursements from the fund will be subject to the approval of the ministers of finance and e-commerce, Mr Burt said, and governed according to the Public Funds Act 1954.

The fund will follow the fiscal year ending March 31, with accounts provided to the Auditor-General.

Mr Burt told MPs that, over the last two weeks, “no less than ten companies have come to Bermuda looking to set up fintech”.

Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, questioned whether guidelines could be added to clarify the decision-making behind payments from the fund.

This was echoed by Michael Dunkley, the shadow national security minister, who also emphasised the need for “proper level of control and accountability”.

But Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, countered that the act was in keeping with “setting up a proper articulated plan that is transparent”.

Mr Dunkley also questioned how the application process for funds would work.

Mr Burt said he would take the concerns raised by the Opposition “under advisement”.

He explained that there was no application process defined “at this time”.

Mr Burt emphasised that the main aim of the Act was to train more Bermudians in the area of fintech development, with room to fund other initiatives if so required.

Government backbencher Rolfe Commissiong told Parliament that the island could see “hundreds of millions invested in Bermuda in the next 18 months”.

He called for policies to offset the potential for a “wave of inflation” that would hit low-income Bermudians the hardest.

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