Wendy C. Warren
CEO & Executive Director

Addressing a recent forum hosted by the Bahamas Institute of Bankers (BIB), BFSB’s CEO & Executive Director Wendy C. Warren emphasised the organisation’s strong commitment to training.

*”In a business environment where our product is intangible, clients particularly demand excellent service. Education is an essential component to providing excellent service in the 21st Century. Some speculate that as clients gain more knowledge about the provision of services – and as there is an increase in the number of choices – they also truly gain full control over the success of companies and indeed jurisdictions.

Users of The Bahamas’ financial services increasingly are well informed and, in some cases, experts in the services we offer. Further, as a financial services jurisdiction, we see the landscape of financial services shifting with the existence of increased numbers of offshore financial centers, and onshore financial centres providing environments increasingly similar to that of offshore centres. The playing field is levelling. Clients have options. This environment drives jurisdictions and companies to differentiate themselves.

While The Bahamas has many factors that will continue to contribute to its success, the branding of The Bahamas as a quality jurisdiction, and our companies in a similar vein, calls for quality in all aspects of our nation.

A priority is to establish industry specific education and in-depth training to create quality in the required areas of expertise.”*

Ms. Warren further pointed out that the Financial Services Industry Professional Associations Working Group (FSIPA) established in May 2001 has identified the coordination of education and training initiatives as a priority project.

*”In the short term, there is a focus on refining the existing programs to allow better coordination amongst industry associations, and to encourage the exchange of resources to propel the development of new and specialised skill sets in our country.

BFSB would like to see this group provide a training program for persons entering the industry to ensure they are grounded not only in the particulars of the institution but with a broad overview of the industry. We are hopeful that the perspective provided will support the strong introduction programs currently operating in many firms.

Ideally, this program might be launched as a summer school and held at an agreed upon frequency. This program would provide a broad overview of financial services, the Bahamas financial services industry and a broad understanding of our clients and their expectations.”*

Medium-term objectives include (a) Skill Set Development Initiatives (incorporating industry training needs analysis and profiling of existing education and training facilities); (b) Attraction of High Calibre Candidates to the Industry; and (c) an ongoing program of seminars targeting all levels of management and administration. The last will be designed as a complement to existing programs offered by industry associations, which focus on technical matters and, rather, will reinforce the business motivation behind a service-driven industry; serve as a catalyst for new approaches to service; and provide operational assistance.

*”The core operating principle of BFSB and this Working Group, is to add value to efforts made by our member institutions to develop “industry-and-client ready staff”. This is the central theme of our shared vision for a comprehensive training program for industry participants. We all are very much aware that the competition for global and domestic financial services clientele is fierce. It is therefore imperative that we have the human resources to execute the strategic plans of member institutions.”*