Addressing a luncheon meeting of the American Men’s Club yesterday, Governor Julian Francis of the Central Bank of The Bahamas made specific reference to the importance of the legislative and regulatory measures introduced by The Bahamas over the last 15 months.
The Governor pointed out that having decided that it belonged among the group of international service providers or jurisdictions well regarded by the international community, The Bahamas has devoted and continues to devote “considerable resources” to the oversight and regulation of financial services. Additional resources will be required to ensure that the nation maintains its place at the table in terms of the international regulatory system.
There was some indication that over the next nine months additional focus will be devoted to determining which institutions are “not right for this jurisdiction” and which ones must reorganise if they wish to remain in The Bahamas.
With particular regard to the elimination of “managed banks”, Governor Francis said, *”We had discussions with those institutions, giving them the option of deciding if they would establish themselves fully. Those that could not go forward, were asked to discontinue their operations.”*
Earlier in the year, indications were that more than half of the 120+ registered managed banks in The Bahamas would remain in the country and comply with the broad-ranging legislative package passed by the Government at the end of last year.
In complying with new laws these banks, among other conditions, are now required to:
-establish a physical presence in The Bahamas;
-retain at least one resident professional at a director level;
-have committed management resources to ensure the institution operates in accordance with Bahamian legislation; and
-maintain all records in The Bahamas.
*”I believe it bodes well for the future of countries like The Bahamas if we can continue to be regarded as serious players in this sector of the global economy,”* said Governor Francis. Hence the importance of ensuring that the nation is well positioned going forward.