Introduction: Moreover, regulations and instructions are important sources issued by the CBJ in accordance with the Central Bank of Jordan Law.

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1 Introduction: The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), established in the late 1950s, is the monitoring authority of foreign and Jordanian commercial banks and specialized credit institutions. The CBJ is an independent and autonomous corporate body. Its capital is owned in entirety by the government of Jordan, and its objectives are to maintain monitoring over the banking and financial sector, to promote sustained growth of the country s economy and to ensure the stability and convertibility of the Jordanian dinar (JOD). Jordan has adopted the strategy of strengthening it s investment environment for a skill-intensive and knowledge-based economy, and supporting local development through increased access to services and economic opportunities. Key changes have been introduced in the laws governing major infrastructure enterprises, such as the laws governing the activities of the Amman Financial Market. This was in line with government policies to open all economic activity to the private sector, both local and foreign. Regulatory framework: The main laws regulating banking and financial services in Jordan are: The Central Bank of Jordan Law (No. 23), 1971, last amended by Law No. 16, 1992; The Banking Law (No. 28), 2000, last amended by the temporary Law No. 46, 2003; The Money Exchange Business Law (No. 26), 1992; The Public Debt Management Law (No. 26), 2001; The Foreign Currency Control Law (No. 95), 1966; The Electronic Transactions Law (No. 85), 2001; The Deposit Insurance Corporation Law (No. 33), 2000; The Securities Law (No. 76), 2002; The Financial Leasing Law (No. 16), 2002; The Anti-money laundering Law (No. 46), 2007; The Credit Information Law (No. 82), 2003; and The Companies Law (No. 22), 1997, last amended by the Companies Amendment Act (No. 40), Moreover, regulations and instructions are important sources issued by the CBJ in accordance with the Central Bank of Jordan Law.

2 The Central Bank: The CBJ was established in The main functions of the CBJ are as follow: to issue and regulate bank notes and coins to meet the needs of the national economy, and to maintain an adequate inventory of these bank notes and coins for the same purpose; to maintain and manage the country s reserves of gold and foreign exchange and set ratios and components of reserves to ensure their safety, liquidity and profitability; to act as a banker and fiscal agent to the government and public institutions by maintaining their revenue and expenditure accounts; making transfers; opening letters of credit; managing and implementing loan and trade agreements; and extending credit to the treasury; to act as a banker to banks and specialized credit institutions by: maintaining the deposits of foreign and local banks; extending credit to them through advances and rediscounts; and furnishing banks with credit risk information, custody and electronic clearing services; to issue licenses authorizing banks to operate and open branches in Jordan. The CBJ also participates in establishing financial institutions and corporations, such as the Amman Stock Exchange, the Jordan Mortgage Refinance Company, the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation and the Deposit Insurance Corporation; to supervise banks and maintain the safety of the banking system, ensure its soundness and protect depositors and shareholders. It does so by: focusing on increasing paid-up capital; improving the capital adequacy ratio; and ensuring that international auditing and accounting standards are applied by licensed banks in relation to solvency, assets, profitability, liquidity and management; to advise the government on the formulation and implementation of economic policies related to the prevailing economic, financial and monetary conditions; to manage monetary problems and participate in containing local economic problems; and to regulate the quantity, quality and cost of credit to meet the requirements of economic development and monetary stability.

3 Corporate governance: In an attempt to enhance corporate governance in the sector and meet international standards of corporate governance and risk management, the CBJ issued a model Corporate Governance Code on 31 December 2007 for banks to use to produce their own corporate governance code according to their particular needs and principles. The CBJ has also issued a guidance book The Bank Director s Handbook of Corporate Governance which contains standards of corporate governance rules relating to bank directors responsibilities and fiduciary duties, effectiveness and efficiency in fulfilling their responsibilities to shareholders and other stakeholders, and delegation of authority. The Banking Law: The Banking Law defines a bank as: a company licensed to engage in banking activities, in accordance with the provisions of this law, including branches of foreign banks licensed to operate in the Kingdom. It also defines an Islamic bank as: a company licensed to engage in banking activities, in accordance with the regulations and principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, and any other activities and operations pursuant to the provisions of this law. Banking activities are defined as accepting deposits from the public and using these deposits in full or in part to grant credit, or for any other activities designated by the Central Bank as banking activities pursuant to special orders issued for this purpose. Local Banks in Jordan may only be incorporated as public shareholding companies. Foreign banks branches may be incorporated after being granted a license from the CBJ. Local and foreign companies and businesses operating in Jordan are subject to corporate income tax. The tax rate for banks is 35 per cent.

4 The Securities Law: The Securities Law puts highlights the duties of the Securities Commission (the Commission), the Commission s financial affairs, details on the Investors Protection Fund, as well as licensing and registration. It also structures monitoring, stock exchange functions, security depositing, the Settlement Guarantee Fund, violations and penalties, and mutual fund and disclosure requirements. The new law improved the overall performance of the stock market by adopting efficient regulations and encouraging foreign investment. The Securities Law defines and provides the details on the operations of three separate bodies: the Amman Securities Exchange Commission, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the market; the Central Depository Body, responsible for the settlement and clearing of stock and the centralization of the current manual share settlement; and the Securities Exchange Commission, responsible for the supervision of the above bodies. Recently, Law No. 50, 2008 was issued to regulate the foreign stock exchange dealings of Jordanians abroad. The Anti-Money Laundering Law In accordance with Article 99/b of the Banking Law (No. 28), 2000, the CBJ issued a regulation on anti-money laundering (No. 10) in 2001, and replaced it with the Anti-money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Circular (No. 29), This regulation defined money laundering as any transaction related to funds accruing from a crime or illegal deal. It also defined a terrorist as any person who willfully provides or collects funds directly or indirectly, with the intention of using them (or being aware that they are to be used) in full or in part for the financing of terrorism according to the definition of terrorism stated in Article 147 of the Penal Code. The provisions of these regulations are applied to banks operating in Jordan and branches of Jordanian banks operating abroad. Under these provisions, banks should report to the CBJ any suspicious transaction. A new Anti- Money Laundering Law (No. 46) was issued separately in 2007 to regulate antimoney laundering. GMB Publishing and contributors. All rights reserved.

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