Mr. Michael D. Foot, C.B.E., is the new Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies at the Central Bank of the Bahamas.

Prior to moving to The Bahamas, Mr. Foot played an instrumental role in the creation of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) which was established in 1998, and served as one of the FSA’s three Managing Directors. Before joining the FSA team, Mr. Foot worked in a variety of domestic and international fields within the Bank of England, becoming one of the 4 Executive Directors in 1996, with responsibility for the supervision of banks.

At the FSA, Mr. Foot created a new “culture”, including the creation of cross-sector regulatory approaches and also helped to create the infrastructure for 2,300 staff from eight predecessor bodies. The FSA is the regulatory body for all major banking, insurance, securities, asset management and personal investment firms operating in the UK – as well as recognised Exchanges operating in the UK, including the operation of listing rules for listed companies.

In a recent interview with BFSB, Mr. Foot commented on a number of issues, including the consolidation of regulatory regimes, cross border regulatory cooperation, and some immediate goals for the bank supervision department. *(See link below to the latest edition of BFSB News, incorporating some of these comments)*

The new Inspector commented on the diversity of the banking and trust licensees in The Bahamas, saying that he has been impressed by their shared conviction that The Bahamas is a good place from which to do business and by the sense that there are real opportunities looking ahead.

*”I also greatly welcome assurances by the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies in the Bahamas (AIBT) and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) that they recognise the value of being part of a well-regulated jurisdiction and their commitment to an extensive and lively dialogue. The regulators for their part have to make sure we do a good job in a cost-effective, business-friendly way.”*

Mr. Foot describes the legislative and regulatory regime in The Bahamas as “perfectly consistent” with the jurisdiction’s international obligations, and notes that The Central Bank has done a lot in recent years to raise skill and experience levels.