Inrecent years, the Government of Bermuda has been promoting the island as the destination of choice for fintech companies. It produced progressive legislation in 2018 and has established Bermuda as a leader in the industry. The European caught up with the Premier of Bermuda, Edward David Burt, to discuss Bermuda’s many strengths, and to find out more about the island’s ambitions in the fintech sector.
Please outline the challenges you face in driving Bermuda’s fintech sector forward…
Edward David Burt: We must ensure that we foster growth and support Bermuda’s fledgling fintech industry, while maintaining the high-standard global reputation for transparency and global regulatory compliance that we’ve developed as the world’s offshore risk capital.
Bermuda’s strict and high standard of regulation allows companies to apply to issue digital assets and apply to be licensed to conduct business and trade of digital assets via our Digital Asset Business Act. These regulations have brought confidence to the industry where it is needed.
What are the strengths and benefits of Bermuda as a progressive blue-chip jurisdiction?
EDB: Bermuda is already well known as the risk capital of the world and the world’s leading catastrophe market, with billions of dollars in reinsurance claims being resolved here. We are an innovative, nimble, stable jurisdiction that works closely with our global industry partners to ensure success. We are a well-regulated financial centre and our priority is to enact responsible and safe legislation to support our insurance/reinsurance and financial services industries.
We took a risk management approach to developing the fintech industry but leveraged the jurisdiction’s small size, flexibility and close partnership with the private sector to respond quickly to current needs. This has allowed the industry to grow while having the support of a regulator who understands the challenges of managing the risks of a new sector.
What plans do you have to build on Bermuda’s strengths?
EDB: We need to be cognisant of the risks of disrupting our existing industries but also recognise that we can again respond quickly to industry needs while striving for the highest global standard of transparency and regulations. We are also closely examining how we can
best accelerate the industry.
In so doing, we are actively pursuing a regulatory approach to licensing digital identity issuers, attesters and validators, which will accelerate the progress and adoption of fintech.
What message do you have for the international business community considering a move to Bermuda?
EDB: If you’re looking for a transparent, blue-chip jurisdiction that is held in high regard and is best placed to be a centre of global trade, then we are the right fit for your business.