Closing Remarks

by the

Governor of the Central Bank of Suriname

Drs. Glenn H. Gersie

On the occasion of the Caribbean Cyber security & Cyber Drill July 4, 2017

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Distinguished guests and participants in this seminar, good afternoon.                  

It gives me great pleasure to be with you today for a moment to share some thoughts with you and to address you at the closing of this gathering that mainly focused on protecting the financial system against cyber-attacks.

Who could have known that this meeting was to be conducted following only days after one of the worst cyber-attacks the world was to be confronted with? It was reported that this attack impacted, not speak of destroyed, many of the world's biggest companies. Yes, the intent was to destroy and not to construct, to harm and not to add value. Events as these emphasize the necessity of us being here today and us to continue to collaborate to protect and to preserve our financial systems and our economies.  Why is it that creative minds use their God given talents for destruction rather than for construction? As we don’t have the answers to this question and as we here lack the capacity to read dark minds, we are urged to remain vigilant, to protect and to preserve, while we’ll allow law enforcement of course to do its’ job.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Cyber-security is needed in both the public and the private sector. I’m confident that intense but constructive panel discussions that you, cyber security experts, representatives from the financial sector and you, service providers, had during the workshop, will surely contribute to awareness and to professionalism when it comes to cyber-security. 

As Governor of the Central Bank I’m really interested in your findings and in your proposals to duly protect and to increase the safety of our systems and of our economies. It needs no further explanation how harmful any event whereby a payment system is stalled due to a cyber-attack can be to the economy. I’m furthermore fully aware of new trends in the world whereby digital money is introduced to drastically reduce or to replace cash payments. This has my interest, as financial inclusion constitutes a main priority in my policies too.

The Central Bank of Suriname aims at price and exchange rate stability, it acts as a guardian for the financial sector; it is banker to the commercial banks; and is cashier, banker and financial advisor to the Government. The Bank is also in charge of the supervision of the banking, credit union, insurance, and pension systems. The Bank is currently spearheading a set of fundamental reforms aimed at modernizing the financial system as a whole and increasing the efficiency, stability and integrity of financial management in general. So now you know why I accepted the invitation to speak here today. I came to inform you that we from the Central Bank have a vested interest in cyber-security!

My staff provided me with information that I want to share with you.

Taking a step back and looking at the increasing importance of the international cyber security industry, we draw the following conclusions.

The entire sector grew to an estimated USD 120 billion up from only 3.5 billion in 2004. A recent report of security researchers (Kaspersky Labs) states that banks and other financial institutions are spending around three times more the amount on cyber security than non-financial organizations.

 This is no surprise, since market analysis also depict that the traditional financial sector transforms into a sector with a strong digital presence in an increasingly rapid tempo. This shift provides a multitude of opportunities especially for developing countries like Suriname, since a correct and secure implementation of digital financial services can reach large target groups; in particular those in remote areas. However, if the advancements are not adequately guided and structured there is a significant chance that incidents or breaches will have harmful impacts on the economy, on commercial organizations and on private citizens.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, each financial system is built on trust and stability. We have to be able to rely on our institutions and the facilities that they offer. The Central Bank's main responsibility in a digital era is to provide a stable national financial system. Clearly the prudential tasks of institutions like the one I’m heading have been expanded tremendously. We are challenged to provide a sound legal platform through which new digital financial services can be offered to the several sectors in our societies.

 The international financial system endures thousands of attacks each month. Only a few attacks have so far been successful thanks to security measures that have been put in place. I must add that in my view those attacks that at first will be characterized as successful should be labeled with failed if a system is able to be up and running within a short time span (confidential data in the hands of criminals will however remain an issue).

I strongly believe that each company with a high dependence on digital technology should invest in cyber security by:

  • Adopting risk management and information security;
  • Providing for a governance structure where Risk management and Information Security play a pivotal role.

The Central Bank of Suriname has already made progress in the areas of information security and risk management. We invest in risk management training, employee awareness and we make great efforts to comply with the ISO27001 (Information Security) guidelines.  As supervisor of the financial system, we have the Surinamese National Payment System (SNEPS) implemented, which provides control mechanisms in line with among others anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

Since last year, we are hosting information security meetings to offer a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration to information security officers from commercial banks in Suriname. We also maintain international relations e.g. with Swift, with the Cyber security Information Sharing Group of regional Central Banks and we joined earlier initiatives to form a national CSIRT, (Computer Security Incident Response Team).  I hope that the discussions during this congress will help with the formalization of the CSIRT group.

In closing, I urge each participant in this workshop, in particular those from the financial sector, to contribute to awareness of cyber security in Suriname from his/her own perspective and expertise. That’s how it begins!  As Governor of the Central Bank I promise that you’ll have my support.

 

Thank you for your attention

 

Exchange RatesMarch 09th and until further notice

Currency Buying Selling
USD 14,018 14,290
EUR 16,628 16,959
GBP 19,396 19,782
ANG 7,699 7,852
AWG 7,784 7,939
BRL 2,438 2,485
TTD 2,063 2,103
BBD 6,907 7,044
XCD 5,190 5,293
PER 100 GYD 6,657 6,790

Gold CertificatesMarch 09th and until further notice

Coupon SRD
5 gram 7.814,97
10 gram 15.629,94
50 gram 78.149,69
100 gram 156.299,39
500 gram 781.496,94
1000 gram 1562993,88
Gold LME: USD 1.701,00 /tr.oz.

Inflation

    Average End-of-period
2022   52.4 54.6
       
2023   Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan   3.7 55.6
Feb   3.2 57.9
Mar   3.2 59.6
Apr   5.7 65.4
May   2.4 65.0
Jun   2.3 54.6
Jul   3.0 56.6
Aug   2.0 53.5
Sep   1.5 50.8
Oct   1.0 42.9
Nov   0.6 38.7
Dec   0.1 32.6
       
2024   Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan   0.9 29.0
Feb   0.4 25.4
Mar*   4.4 26.8

*) Preliminary figures

 

 

Weighted Average RatesMay 17 - 15:00h (Transfers)

Currency Buying Selling
USD 32.372 32.640
EUR 34.657 35.149
GBP 40.969 41.772
ANG 17.787 18.135
AWG 17.984 18.337
BRL 6.309 6.432
TTD 4.778 4.872
BBD 15.958 16.271
XCD 11.990 12.225
GYD PER 100 15.382 15.684
CNY 4.479 4.567

Weighted Average RatesMay 17 - 15:00h (Banknotes)

Currency Buying Selling
USD 31.999 32.453
EUR 33.920 34.423
GBP 40.497 41.299
ANG 17.582 17.930
AWG 17.777 18.129
BRL 6.236 6.359
TTD 4.723 4.816
BBD 15.774 16.086
XCD 11.851 12.086
GYD PER 100 15.205 15.506
CNY 4.428 4.515

Gold CertificatesMay 17

Coupon SRD
5 gram 24.948,43
10 gram 49.896,85
50 gram 249.484,26
100 gram 498.968,51
500 gram 2.494.842,57
1000 gram 4.989.685,15
Gold LBMA USD 2.377,40 /tr.oz.

Weighted Average Accepted
OMO Rate

Auction ID Auction Date Rate (%)
CBTD240515-1W 2024-05-15 23,3
CBTD240508-1W 2024-05-08 24,9
CBTD240502-1W 2024-05-02 30,0
CBTD240424-1W 2024-04-24 34,6

Standing Lending Facility Interest Rate

Auction ID Auction Date Rate (%)
CBTD240515-1W 2024-05-15 28,0
CBTD240508-1W 2024-05-08 29,9
CBTD240502-1W 2024-05-02 36,0
CBTD240424-1W 2024-04-24 41,5
Balance sheet

Inflation

    Average End-of-period
2022   52.4 54.6
       
2023   Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan   3.7 55.6
Feb   3.2 57.9
Mar   3.2 59.6
Apr   5.7 65.4
May   2.4 65.0
Jun   2.3 54.6
Jul   3.0 56.6
Aug   2.0 53.5
Sep   1.5 50.8
Oct   1.0 42.9
Nov   0.6 38.7
Dec   0.1 32.6
       
2024   Month-to-month Year-to-year
Jan   0.9 29.0
Feb   0.4 25.4
Mar*   4.4 26.8

*) Preliminary figures