Regulatory Instruments

BDCB, as the regulator of the financial services industry, issues various instruments under the laws it administers. Below is a classification of all the various instruments, which includes how they are classified and their legal effect.

1.          Directions
Directions can be in the form of a Directive or a Notice, and detail specific instructions to financial institutions or other specified persons to ensure compliance. They are quasi-statutory instruments with legal effect, meaning that BDCB can specify whether a contravention of a direction is a criminal offence.

a. Directives - Directives primarily impose legally binding requirements on an individual financial institution or a specified person.

b. Notices - Notices primarily impose legally binding requirements on a specified class of financial institutions or persons.

Examples of notices are Notice on Market Conduct and Notice on Recovery Planning for Insurance Companies and Takaful Operators.

A full list of Notices issued by BDCB can be found here.

2.        Guidelines
Guidelines set out principles or "best practice standards" that govern the conduct of specified institutions or persons. While contravention of guidelines is not a criminal offence and does not attract civil penalties, specified institutions or persons are encouraged to observe the spirit of these guidelines. The degree of observance with guidelines by an institution or person may have an impact on BDCB's overall risk assessment of that institution or person.

Examples of guidelines are Guidelines on Outsourcing for Capital Markets Service Licence Holders and Guidelines on Market Risk Management. 

A full list of guidelines issued by BDCB can be found here

3.        Practice Notes
Practice Notes are meant to guide specified institutions on administrative procedures relating to, amongst others, licensing, reporting and compliance matters. Contravention of a practice note is not a criminal offence, unless a procedure stated in the practice note is also required by an Act or regulation.


4.        Codes
Codes set out principles or "best practice standards" that govern the conduct of specified activities. Codes are non-statutory and do not have force of law. However, a breach of a code may attract certain non-statutory sanctions like private reprimand or public censure.

5.        Circulars

Circulars are documents which are sent to specified person for their information or are published on the BDCB website for public information. Circulars have no legal effect.

6.        Policy Statement

Policy statements outline broadly the major policies of BDCB.

Example of Policy Statements – BDCB Policy Statement 2/2021.

BDCB is the Authority for the following list of laws that is found here (as of 12 Apr 22)