Service Must Become The Major Appeal of The Bahamas

Addressing the recent Annual Banquet of the Bahamas Institute of Bankers, BFSB CEO and Executive Director Wendy C. Warren pointed out that aspects of the nation’s attributes are being transformed – with onshore and offshore worlds operating more often now on a level playing field.

*”I firmly believe our improved regulatory and counter money laundering regime positions The Bahamas for sustained and continued growth in the long term – and this can only be good.”* said Ms. Warren. According to the industry leader, the rules of the game are changing but The Bahamas can lead the field if it chooses to lead the way. *”This is our future. This is our challenge. We hold it in our hands in our actions over the coming months”*, she continued.

Addressing those she described as pacesetters in banking, Ms. Warren said the industry has a responsibility to examine *”what we do, how well we do it and, maybe most importantly, to look at what our customers and clients want that we are not doing and start doing it. This is the time to stretch ourselves, to re-invent ourselves at every level of business.”*

*”Let us commit to the motto of the Bahamas Institute of Bankers — confidence, loyalty — and integrity and make them the cornerstones of our foundation. Let us build on these cornerstones and take a giant step into a new world delivering such outstanding service that the name “Bahamas” symbolises “service” the world round”,* said Ms. Warren.

Bankers were called upon to:

– show great *INTEGRITY* in assessing the capabilities of corporations, personnel and the country;

– be *LOYAL* to goals and dreams, and the future of the industry; and

– have *CONFIDENCE* in the nation’s ability to overcome any shortcomings and surpass expectations.

Industry professionals were also reminded that business as usual will no longer be good enough, will no longer be accepted, and will no longer allow those who continue doing what they were doing *without* forging new territory to survive. Practitioners in the financial services sector – one of the two major pillars of the Bahamian economy – can no longer be slaves to the habit of doing business a certain way “because that’s the way it has always been done”.

Companies, including those providing financial services, that do “business as usual” without throwing off the shackles of habit that discourage creativity, new ideas, new eyes, and adherence to exceptional service standards will fall by the wayside in an increasingly competitive world, both locally and internationally.

The single thing that will most define the industry’s ability to survive and succeed in this world where it is no longer business as usual will be “service”, and the BIB members and guests were asked to re-examine mechanisms for encouraging good service — keeping in mind that the product being sold within the industry is intangible. {*I}”We are selling financial services supported by human relationships, knowledge, promptness and consistency.*

It will be through the provision of superior service in a competitive world that The Bahamas will once again be the clear leader in financial services in the Western Hemisphere and the country will thrive on the wings of the second pillar of its economic foundation.

Extracts from Remarks
Wendy C. Warren
CEO & Executive Director
Bahamas Financial Services Board
at the
2001 Awards Ceremony
Bahamas Institute of Bankers