**The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson,
Minister of Financial Services and Investments**

With the passage of new legislation and a renewed focus on the requirements of the private sector, The Bahamas is moving forward to reclaim its leading position in the global financial services marketplace.

*”We are a blue-chip, well-regulated and cooperative financial centre seeking to attract quality business,”* says the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments.

*”We recognise that The Bahamas has a place as a financial centre alongside jurisdictions such as London, New York, Switzerland, and Singapore.”*

Since its formation in 2002, the Ministry has launched a five-year strategic plan, in cooperation with the private sector, to reposition and expand the nation’s financial services industry.

*”We have already enacted legislation in areas such as e-commerce and investment funds,”* says Minister Maynard-Gibson. *”We are also in the process of streamlining the know-your-customer requirements that made it difficult to open a bank account in The Bahamas.”*

As a responsible participant in the global financial services industry, The Bahamas recognises that accountability and transparency are fundamental to ensuring the success of the sector.

*”There is no question about the integrity of our regulators, the integrity of our country, or the integrity of our process,”* says the Minister.

In the global marketplace, The Bahamas is well positioned with its location near North American population centres and its traditional ties to Europe.

Other advantages include the nation’s tax neutrality, strong respect for privacy, democratic history, sound fiscal environment, and skilled workforce that includes financial professionals in many disciplines. Reflecting the nationís “re-tooled” private sector, Bahamian firms have launched new securities, intellectual property, and insurance products in the past year to serve their institutional and individual clients.

Summing up the nation’s pro-investment attitude, Minister Gibson says *”We are replacing red tape with a welcoming red carpet. The Bahamas is open for business.”*