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Secured Transactions - December 2014

Secured Transactions Reforms: Advances in Jamaica and the Caribbean

The OAS/DIL Project team made a second visit to Jamaica in November as part of the diagnostic phase of the Secured Transactions Project that is being carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC). Continuing the process of consultation that began last July, the team met with additional stakeholder groups to evaluate how the nascent regime is begin received and used by its constituents. On this occasion, the OAS Project Team met with the Jamaican Bar Association, Commercial Law SubCommittee, the Private Sector of Jamaica group, credit bureaus, entities that offer microfinance and microlending, development banks and several commercial banks, including Scotiabank, First Global, First Caribbean and JMMB Merchant Bank. The team also met with the Parliamentary Counsel to gain valuable background to the draft legislation that was enacted as the Security Interests in Personal Property Act, 2013 (or SIPPA). As Jamaica has also recently enacted the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, 2014, a critical component for ensuring an effective and efficient secured transactions regime (which governs payment priorities among creditors who have made loans against a debtor’s movable assets) is consistency between that regime and the rules that govern payments to creditors upon insolvency of the debtor.

Secured Transactions Reforms: Advances in Jamaica and the Caribbean

The results of the diagnosis undertaken during these field visits will be considered at a seminar to be held next February 10-12, 2015 with participation of local stakeholder groups and various experts in asset-based lending. It is hoped that the seminar will also be attended by other Caribbean states with a common law tradition that are considering secured transactions reform. The seminar will provide a venue for a rich exchange of lessons learned and an opportunity to strengthen and develop regional capacity in this field. Similar seminars have been held for Spanish-speaking OAS member states with a civil law tradition in El Salvador and most recently in Peru.

Jamaica has recently improved its ranking in the Doing Business report that is prepared annually by the World Bank, moving from 85th place in 2014 to 58 in 2015. Undoubtedly, steps to modernize the legal framework such as those described above contribute towards creating an effective and efficient lending environment, which in turn, is favorable for investment and bodes well for economic growth.

The OAS/DIL Secured Financing Project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada.

» To see OAS Booklet — Secured Transactions Reform in the Americas, click here

» For additional information about Secured Transactions, please visit our Website

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