*(Note: This statement was released by BFSB in response to the Offshore Financial Services Databook 2003, purportedly representing a “quantitative study of the offshore investment market”. The Report forecasts offshore deposits and funds in selected centres for 2003 and 2004)*

**Offshore Financial Services Databook 2003**

Despite the OECD and other recent initiatives, The Bahamas and its financial institutions have continued to retain a strong market position. This is due to the quality of financial institutions, which are doing business in The Bahamas, the quality of their clients and The Bahamas’ response to the OECD initiative. The Bahamas was one of the first countries to speak to the need for a level playing field in 1999 and captured this principle in its formal response to the OECD initiative. The response was well received by the marketplace and respected by the OECD.

A policy decision by The Bahamas to eliminate managed banks and in the process further instill a “mind and management” operating culture within all financial institutions doing business in the country has likely led to some erosion in deposits. This policy decision was not the result of the OECD pressure but a recognition of the need to preserve and enhance the integrity of the jurisdiction. The Central Bank foreshadowed an impact on the deposit base with the introduction of this policy.

It is also important to understand that while The Bahamas is a strong and well-regarded booking centre for U.S. currency deposits, this does not necessarily mean these deposits are from U.S. individuals who might be impacted by initiatives in the United States. Generally, Bahamian financial institutions have a diversified international base of business.