The Bermuda Monetary Authority (Authority or BMA) is Bermuda’s independent regulator of licensed and registered financial services businesses (licensed businesses). We make rules and regulations that require these licensed businesses to operate responsibly and conduct their business in a prudent manner. We also supervise them, hold them accountable to complying with their regulatory obligations and may take regulatory action when needed.
In August 2022, the BMA’s mandate was expanded to promote the protection of customers that use the products and services provided by licensed businesses through the oversight of their conduct of business.
We began implementing this new mandate by incorporating conduct of business principles into existing and newly published codes of conduct (codes) for the banking, domestic insurance and digital asset business sectors. The codes, amongst other things, seek to ensure licensed businesses are overall providing fair outcomes for customers. Licensed businesses must comply with the requirements of any code applicable to them, and the Authority oversees their compliance with the requirements of the code as part of our supervision.
It is expected that the codes for other sectors, beyond banking, domestic insurance and digital asset businesses, will also be expanded upon in the future to include conduct principles.
The conduct principles contained in the codes derive from international best practices and aim to ensure that licensed businesses adhere to the following conduct principles:
Treating you, as a customer, fairly and equitably
The codes contain the same set of requirements around the treatment of customers, with an overarching intent to ensure the following outcomes:
You, as a customer, have confidence and trust that the regulated businesses that you engage with will treat customers fairly and with due skill and care
You, as a customer, are provided with (or are enabled to find) clear and timely information that helps you make informed decisions
If you, as a customer, have a dispute with a licensed business, you can make a complaint to them, and the complaint will be handled within a reasonable timeframe
When purchasing financial products and services, it is important for you to understand the licensed business’ role as a provider of financial products. As explained in the codes, you can expect licensed businesses to:
As a customer of a licensed business, you also have responsibilities to ensure that the licensed business can proceed efficiently and effectively with your onboarding and ongoing use of its products and services.
Your responsibilities as a customer include the following:
Share information honestly about yourself that is relevant to the licensed business so that its representatives can determine your suitability for their various products and services and also advise them promptly if your circumstances change
Before you purchase or use financial products and services, educating yourself can help you achieve the outcomes you expect. It is always best to think carefully about your needs and the right questions to ask before you seek advice or purchase financial products and services.
The BMA requires licensed businesses to have a formal complaints procedure in place. This includes ensuring that licensed businesses acknowledge your complaint and address it according to their complaints procedures. They are also required to maintain a complaints log. They should keep you advised on how they are addressing your issue, how and when it will be resolved or, otherwise, clearly explain why you were advised that your complaint does not warrant specific action from them.
If you have an issue as a customer of a licensed business, you should take all reasonable steps to resolve your complaint with the licensed business.
Some suggested steps are as follows:
The BMA can help protect you as a customer of a licensed business in the following ways:
In determining compliance with the applicable codes and legislation, the BMA may consider information from a variety of sources, including Unresolved Complaint Reports. Please note that it is not in the BMA’s mandate to settle any complaint you have made with a licensed business on your behalf.
Please ensure you have taken the three actions below before filing your Unresolved Complaint Report with the BMA:
If you have taken all reasonable steps above to resolve your complaint with the licensed business with no resolution, you may follow the steps below to file an Unresolved Complaint Report with the BMA indicating this has occurred.
*NOTE: You can upload a maximum of 10 files; however, each file uploaded may be no more than 5 MB, and the file name must not include special characters. Please use only the following file formats when preparing your documents: .doc, .docx or .pdf
It is important to note that as a regulator of licensed businesses, the BMA’s role does not include resolving customer complaints on your behalf. However, in determining compliance with the applicable codes and legislation, the BMA may consider information from a variety of sources, including Unresolved Complaint Reports. Although the BMA is not permitted to get involved in any commercial relationship, it may be necessary when investigating compliance, for us to share your Report with the licensed business.
I understand the process and want to file an Unresolved Complaint Report.