More than 200 industry representatives attended a Financial Services Legislation Seminar in Nassau on September 23 to hear an in-depth technical and practical review of six new pieces of legislation which have been enacted over the past 12 months.

These legislative initiatives include:

* The Foundations Act
* IBC Amendment Act
* Investment Funds Act
* Perpetuities Amendment Act
* Purpose Trust Act
* Segregated Accounts Companies Act

The legislative agenda for financial services will remain active as the government moves forward in updating the domestic and external insurance bills. It has also foreshadowed legislation that will lead to The Bahamas becoming an international arbitration centre and preferred centre for private trust companies. An examination will also be undertaken to determine if further steps are necessary to improve the framework for securitization.

The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services & Investments, who was the luncheon speaker at the seminar, took the opportunity to pay tribute to the ongoing collaboration between the public and private sector in efforts to ensure a well regulated, responsive and proactive jurisdiction. *"Indeed, without the support of the sector this legislation may not have been possible,"*said the Minister. *"Industry, through the Financial Services Consultative Forum (FSCF) and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB), clearly articulated the need for this legislation. Many of you gave of your time and expertise at no cost to the government to ensure that the legislation was drafted and adopted by the Parliament."*

Referencing the importance of Government ensuring that systems are in place to give effect to any new legislation, Minister Maynard-Gibson pointed to the work done by the new Registrar General in collaboration with BFSB and the broader industry to ensure that procedures and mechanisms are in place to allow that department to process applications made under these acts expeditiously. Specifically, the Registrar General’s Department has implemented new systems and procedures to provide the public with more efficient services – including the Agent Internet Module System.

The Seminar was sponsored jointly by BFSB, the Association of International Banks & Trust Companies (AIBT), and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).