Last week Prime Minister Perry G. Christie announced the appointment of a new Board for the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB). Noting that the securities industry represents an important part of the financial services sector of the economy, the Bahamas Government has pledged to do all it can to stimulate the growth and expansion of capital markets and the mutual funds industry, in the context of a disciplined and internationally respected regulatory regime.

The Bahamas is aspiring with renewed energy and sharper focus to innovative product development, professional competence and legislative and regulatory support for the sector. *”A remodelling of the Securities Industry Act to make it more appealing and relevant to the industry is high on the Government’s legislative agenda,”*said the Prime Minister. The amended Mutual Funds Act/Regulations legislation is being finalised for presentation to Parliament in October. Similarly, it is anticipated that the long awaited Protected Cells Legislation soon will be brought to Parliament, representing yet another boost to the mutual funds industry. Further announced were plans to further liberalise exchange control regulations to allow access to the investment currency market under more favourable terms.

Presenting remarks at the ceremony to announce the new SCB Board was the Minister of Financial Services and Investments, the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P. She reiterated the Government’s promise to strengthen the nation’s economy by maintaining the global competitiveness of its financial services sector. In order to do so, she said, *”The Bahamas must remain committed to building a sound and effective regulatory environment, to not only protect investors, but also to promote integrity, growth and development of the securities market.”*

As the nation’s leading administrative and supervisory body for the securities industry, the SCB plays a pivotal role in enhancing The Bahamas as a premier financial centre. The new Board comprises Calvin Knowles and Patricia Hermanns as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, and 4 other members: B.K. Bonamy, Jerry Butler, Tonya Galanis, and Eve Poitier.