The Bahamas Government through the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments is committed to providing a red carpet experience to international and Bahamian firms involved in all aspects of financial services, including the funds sector.
The Bahamas is a mature Financial Centre, having commenced business in the 1930s. Further, our legislative and regulatory regime places The Bahamas as a pace setter in ensuring transparency through comprehensive KYC systems and respecting the privacy of clients as supported by UN principles. The Bahamas is a supreme model of political stability with more than 270 years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy.
**Repositioning The Bahamas Financial Services Industry For Growth**
The establishment of the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments was the first step in executing The Bahamas Government’s plan to re-position the financial services industry for growth. We recognise that financial services has many positive effects on the Bahamian economy, and that it continues to represent a substantial opportunity for inward investment and employment. Consequently, my Ministry is focused on ensuring that the policy and legislative resources of the government are brought to bear for the benefit of the long-term growth and sustainability of the industry and the resulting economic benefits for The Bahamas.
Not only do we seek input from Bahamian and international financial services firms, we also ensure that their thoughts on strategy formulation, legislative, service and productivity improvement initiatives and promotion opportunities are duly considered, and where possible incorporated in our programmes and policies.
Events like the BFSB-hosted "Special Programme for Intermediaries in Nassau" (SPIN) certainly provide us with opportunities to listen to the concerns of industry experts. This allows us to considerably enlarge our limited resources by drawing on the knowledge and perspectives of experts and interested parties. In an environment that encourages the full participation of stakeholders and for full discussion of policy and other development matters, we have a better chance for rapid response and getting it right the first time.
Our funds industry is growing rapidly due to strong overview of the fund administrators by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas. Funds in The Bahamas enjoy speedy registration procedures, low establishment costs, and minimal corporate or trust incorporation fees. The ability to launch new funds without the risk of bureaucratic delay has proven to be a major advantage for The Bahamas and has been an important catalyst for the sector’s significant growth.
The new Investment Funds Act 2003 positions the regulatory infrastructure of The Bahamas at the cutting edge of modern investment fund administration. It serves both to update the general legislative and supervisory environment, and provides flexibility to adequately cater to the evolving needs of the global marketplace.
The once quiet, unnoticed world of financial services has become the focal point for international attention and increased global competition. The end result is that people and capital can move freely and instantaneously in an environment of unprecedented choice when it comes to where they want to vacation or do business. My government is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that The Bahamas is seen as a viable choice for financial institutions and their clients.
Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson,
Ministry of Financial Services and Investments