Sector specific promotion and communications activities will receive greater emphasis by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) in 2003 as it focuses more attention on marketing initiatives to supplement the work of individual member firms.

In presenting the organisation’s 2003 plan to members in a series of meetings during December, CEO and Executive Director Wendy Warren said BFSB is driven by the development needs of member firms and, therefore, it will continue to support specific industry initiatives and be a partner in the continued viability of The Bahamas as a financial centre.

*”In this regard BFSB will continue to be involved in external communications/marketing initiatives and internal jurisdictional development, recognising that one cannot be completely separated from the other,”*she said.

BFSB’s promotional programme for the year will place primary attention on intermediaries who heavily influence decision-making in the selection of an international financial centre.

*”We will be utilising more of our resources in relationship-building programmes to promote the professional expertise and products available in our jurisdiction,”*said Ms. Warren.

These programmes will include:

-Greater participation in conferences covering all industry segments;

-Briefing visits to markets with the highest business potential;

-Informational visits to The Bahamas by intermediaries;

-Product specific promotional material and publications;

-Article placement and publicity in professional/trade journals and publications;

-The BFSB website (

In the area of jurisdictional development, BFSB will remain active in three areas:

(1) Listening attentively to suggestions from members and international partners for business development opportunities or mechanisms to improve the jurisdiction.

These opportunities and suggestions will be examined closely by the Board and, where the potential is affirmed, BFSB will submit Position Papers broadly outlining the opportunities or suggestions for examination by the Ministry of Financial Services & Investment (MFSI) and the Financial Services Consultative Forum (FSCF). BFSB will continue to provide active representation of members’ interests and concerns.

(2) Strategic Development Forums through which BFSB will assist member firms in anticipating evolving client needs, general market conditions and areas of expertise; and

(3) Industry Awareness Programmes under the Financial Centre Focus banner, where pertinent information regarding the economic contribution and employment and skills training opportunities within the financial services industry will be provided on a more regular basis.

In developing its strategy for 2003, Ms. Warren said BFSB was guided by input from members, the results of an informal survey it conducted among international intermediaries, and areas of past successes and accomplishments.

*”Input from our member firms reaffirmed that our primary mission should be the development of the financial services industry through partnerships with members, professional industry associations and government,”* she said.

Ms. Warren said the informal survey of intermediaries strongly indicated that reputation and perceived strengths of a jurisdiction weigh significantly on the selection of a jurisdiction for the placement of business. *”We concluded that our resources have the greatest opportunity for success when applied to product strengths, expertise and innovation,”* she said.

According to the CEO, one of the most significant BFSB accomplishments over the past several years has been the increased recognition of the importance of the industry. *”We believe our continuous dialogue with government has created a stronger working relationship among all stakeholders. BFSB programmes to raise awareness of the importance of the industry domestically also have been well received and effective.”*

Also cited as some of the key accomplishments in the past year were BFSB’s constructive input to legislative development, increased Bahamas visibility in publications targeting intermediaries, BFSB’s input to the MFSI’s strategic plan, and partnership programmes with a number of industry associations and the College of The Bahamas.

Ms. Warren said BFSB looks forward to working with the MFSI on complementary initiatives to promote the jurisdiction.