The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments
Launching Financial Services Week in The Bahamas with a Tribune interview today, Minister Maynard-Gibson confirmed that she plans to unveil a five-year plan for the financial services sector by the end of the month. It is anticipated that legislation relevant to new products being developed, as well as enhancements of existing products, will be introduced in the next session of Parliament slated to start in October.
Revised Mutual Funds legislation currently is with the Attorney General’s Office, and the Prime Minister announced recently that plans for Protected Cell legislation are underway. Pension fund management and insurance are other product areas reportedly under review, as is the International Business Companies Act 2000. Assurances were given that any amendments to existing legislation will not negatively impact The Bahamas’ position as a *”well-regulated, blue-chip jurisdiction.”*
The new Ministry of Financial Services and Investments is taking a consultative approach to further development of the sector, and Minister Gibson described ongoing discussions with practitioners within the financial services industry to *”define what is our niche as a financial sector.”* She indicated that this approach has been received positively both in The Bahamas and from those international institutions that maintain offices here, with constructive input made on new products and legislation.
In order to ensure that The Bahamas fulfils its potential in financial services – and other sectors – the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments has as a primary goal the efficient operation of the public sector, in line with the private sector. Particular reference was made to plans to enhance the operation of the Registrar General’s Department, where a computerisation project is well underway. *”We want to send a very clear message that this is a pro-business government,”* said Minister Maynard-Gibson, who also referenced the need for the jurisdiction to maintain the right mindset and performance mode to compete with major onshore and international centres. The Government has pledged to work hand in hand with the private sector to ensure an enhanced position for The Bahamas in the global financial services market.
BFSB’s Chairman Ian D. Fair and CEO/Executive Director Wendy C. Warren also participated on the “Issues of The Day” Radio Talk Show on this first day of Financial Services Week. They echoed the sentiments of the Minister in terms of a progressive approach to industry development, with new products/legislation and a quality service orientation viewed as essential components of the dual goal of meeting market needs and maintaining the premier positioning of The Bahamas as an international financial centre.