Global dimension of alleged fraud at SSL must be carefully managed – PM
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 26, CMC – Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his administration is aware that the case of alleged fraud being investigated at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) has a global dimension that must be carefully managed.
“I’m not aware of any systemic issues in the financial system that could cause contagion but, certainly, if actors in the sector or the common person is misinformed and consumes information that is incorrect, information that is false and misleading, it could impact the way in which economic actors make their financial decisions and create a crisis that does not need to exist,” he said as he delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the 18th Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Investment and Capital Markets Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Holness urged Jamaicans to play their part in safeguarding the country’s financial market, by acting responsibly and not engaging in activities that could potentially jeopardise its integrity.
He noted that the market is a national asset and a regional leader in the Caribbean, which gives Jamaica a competitive advantage.
The Prime Minister maintained, however, that stakeholder engagement in illicit market activities poses a risk to this credibility and, as such, “we must protect it at all costs”.
He said among the steps to this end are the need for persons to ensure that information on issues impacting the sector is verified and emanates from trustworthy sources.
Holness noted queries arising “as to why I didn’t jump out with a statement immediately” in relation to the SSL matter.
“It’s simply because I have a duty that when I speak, the information that I provide must be unassailable… and that means you have to take time to verify [it], so that confidence can be restored,” the Prime Minster emphasised.
He cited individuals who “had a field day” with misinformation related to the SSL matter, noting that “it was almost gleeful celebration”.
“I ask all Jamaicans to think very carefully on these things. Let us protect our national asset that we have… . We must act responsibly with information. We must learn from our past crises and be bold to speak the truth about them. We must not make the same mistakes we made already,” Holness said.
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