Minister of Finance, Dr Nigel Clarke, addresses the Invest Jamaica 2022 Business Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on Tuesday (November 29). (Rudranath Fraser/JIS)

Finance minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, is encouraging Jamaicans, to remain confident in the country’s financial sector.

His comment follows the recent US multi-million dollar fraud, uncovered at investment firm, Stocks and Securities Limited, SSL.

The minister notes, that Jamaica is the leading financial centre in the English-speaking Caribbean.

More in this report from Robian Williams.

Minister Clarke says the government will do everything in its power to protect the country’s financial interests.

The finance minister says he is confident that the authorities will bring those responsible to book.

Approximately 40 customers of SSL, have allegedly been defrauded by an employee. The Financial Services Commission, FSC, has taken control of the investment firm and is restricting its operations.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, has expressed concern, noting that incidents of this nature, have the potential to negatively affect people’s trust in the financial system.

In a statement today, the BOJ assured Jamaicans, that its supervised deposit-taking institutions remain adequately capitalised and liquid. It adds that all deposits in these institutions remain safe and secure.

The BOJ says its regulatory oversight remains rigorous. The statement notes that deposit-taking institutions are required by law to have all their assets and liabilities recorded on a balance sheet.

Additionally, an employee of National Commercial Bank, NCB, in St. Ann, has been charged with several counts of fraud. The employee, Khadene Thomas, allegedly defrauded a customer of over US $140,000.

Thomas is to appear in the St. Ann Parish Court on Friday.

In relation to this incident, the BOJ says stringent internal controls assisted in the early detection of irregular transactions and ensured that the risk was kept to a minimum level relative to the capitalisation of the institution.