The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) recently hosted its 10th Anniversary Seminar, commemorating the central bank’s establishment and achievements over the decade.

In her welcoming remarks, Managing Director of AMBD Hjh Rokiah Hj Badar highlighted the rapid evolvement of the financial landscape and the increasingly complex areas for AMBD to explore as the sultanate’s central bank since its inception on 1 January 2011.

She shared that prior to AMBD, some of the organisation’s functions were already being carried by Ministry of Finance, namely the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board; Brunei International Financial Centre; Financial Institutions Division; and Research and International Division.

“One of the compelling reasons for a central bank or monetary authority in this case is to maintain independence to achieve price and financial stability and in turn contribute to the financial and economic development of a nation,” she said.

“One of the compelling reasons for a central bank or monetary authority in this case is to maintain independence to achieve price and financial stability and in turn contribute to the financial and economic development of a nation,” she said.

The managing director also noted that the central bank had its challenging beginning as it transitioned from a government structure to an independent statutory body.

AMBD’s focus in its first few years, she added, were on building organisational capacities – operational and technical, while navigating an environment that was still recovering from a global financial crisis.

“On this note, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office as the Chairman of AMBD for his wise leadership, guidance and support since AMBD’s establishment,” she said, also thanking current and former directors of AMBD Board of Directors, her predecessors and staff for working tirelessly in making AMBD a strong foundation as a new organisation.

Lauding the government’s swift action in combatting the widespread of COVID-19 in the country in 2020 which in turn enabled the promotion of economic recovery efforts and resumption of social and economic activities, Hjh Rokiah noted that AMBD was able to support the Government’s Economic Stimulus Package by end of March 2020.

“By allowing banks and financial institutions to temporarily defer loan payments, we were able to ease the burden of repayment on individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. The ongoing temporary waiver of local bank interbank fund transfer fees and charges to all bank customers was also made possible with the cooperation of Brunei Association of Banks (BAB),” she said.

The year 2020, she added, did not only demonstrate AMBD’s resilience and the agility to adapt to the new norm but also reflected the sustainability of the country’s financial system that remains robust.

Following the managing director’s speech, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud who is also member of the Board of Directors at AMBD, shared the future direction of AMBD and the importance of AMBD to reposition itself towards becoming a more dynamic monetary authority.

“Developing and transforming a financial sector is not an easy task. AMBD’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2015-2016 outlines AMBD’s aspirations for a Dynamic and Diversified Financial Sector to help achieve the overarching goal of a dynamic and sustainable economy under Wawasan Brunei 2035,” he said.

The minister also stressed the importance of AMBD to further strengthen prudential regulation and supervision and to ensure AMBD’s policies remain adaptive and effective in the changing regulatory environment in the decades to come for the good of not only the economy but also the people of Brunei.

The minister also stressed the importance of AMBD to further strengthen prudential regulation and supervision and to ensure AMBD’s policies remain adaptive and effective in the changing regulatory environment in the decades to come for the good of not only the economy but also the people of Brunei.

The one-day seminar later continued with a keynote address by the former Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Dr Diwa Guinigundo highlighting grey rhinos which are highly predictable issues that should not be ignored but tend to be by policy makers.

Among the grey rhinos elaborated include the COVID-19 pandemic; ultra-low interest rate environment; and the FinTech revolution.

The seminar also saw three panel sessions with the themes – i. Maintaining Efficient Payments and Monetary Stability, ii. Safeguarding Financial Stability and iii. Developing the Financial Sector, which discussions were participated by AMBD management and officers.

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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