Hon. Sir William Allen
Minister of Finance

Addressing a special ceremony to welcome the Chief Executive of the SG Private Banking Group on a visit to The Bahamas, Minister of Finance Sir William Allen took the opportunity to provide an update on The Bahamas’ response to the supranational initiatives of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD).

Minister Allen said The Bahamas “has fully addressed the issues raised by the FSF and FATF”, with expectations that the financial center would be upgraded by the one and removed from the so-called black list of the other.

With regard to the OECD, it was pointed out that The Bahamas has had some difficulty in reaching an accommodation with the initiative so far. “There are concepts in the substance of the initiative, like ring-fencing and harmful tax competition, that lack a logical basis”. Sir William Allen continued, “It is hoped that this initiative will benefit from the expressions of divergent views and that this might lead to a reassessment of the unhelpful concepts and the unevenness which are preventing the legitimate concerns to be addressed.”

The Bahamas Government and the financial services industry are determined to do all that is necessary to ensure the competitiveness, the integrity and the viability of The Bahamas as a financial center, according to the Minister.

In reporting on the state of the economy In a recent public address, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham indicated that The Bahamas’ response to challenges to its financial services sector by the FATF and the OECD is proving “to have been the right medicine and we have every expectation that the sector will emerge, delisted, stronger, more vibrant, and healthier than it has ever been.”