**Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments**
Earlier this week Minister Maynard-Gibson presented remarks at the International Crime Symposium held in Jesus College, University of Cambridge under the theme: *”The Business of Crime: The Enterprise of Crime and Terror – The Implications for Good Business”*.
Now in its twenty-third year, the Symposium brings together ministers, legislators, senior officials, diplomats, judges, regulators, law enforcement, intelligence and security officers, financial intermediaries, bankers, professional advisers, compliance and risk officers and scholars from around the world.
The Minister addressed a number of issues *(see below for link to speech)*, including:
• Protecting the global financial system and the economies of international financial centres (IFCs)
• The legitimate and important role of IFCs
• Factors that affect good governance, stability and international cooperation in IFCs
• Evolution of the sector
• The Bahamas’ Response to international initiatives
• Co-existence in the international financial sector between the various national stakeholders
She said, *”The Bahamas fully supports international initiatives to stem abuse and undermining of the international financial system. The Bahamas has no interest in facilitating, aiding or abetting unlawful acts; nor will it be associated with rogue action of individuals, countries or groupings.”* The Bahamian regulatory regime has been positioned to facilitate the government’s fight against international crime, and the Minister pointed out that the jurisdiction was one of the first countries to penalise money laundering resulting from the drug trade, and also the first in the region to have anti-money laundering guidelines for banks.
Minister Maynard-Gibson continued, *”As a responsible and proven member of the international community and as a stakeholder committed to honouring its international obligations, The Bahamas has always maintained its commitment to constructive dialogue with our partners and our competitors in the global economy and working cooperatively with them in our joint efforts to resolving issues of mutual concern.”*
**The Way Forward**
Symposium participants were told that the relevant international agencies have accepted that The Bahamas has introduced methods and strategies to ensure that the jurisdiction is both appropriately regulated and competitive within the context of international best practices.
Going forward, The Bahamas has chosen the path of maintaining its position as a leading provider of private wealth management services while evolving to a full service centre, providing related services to enhance and grow private wealth management specifically and the sector generally. *”These goals will be achieved by continued adherence and upgrading of standards as well as close private sector collaboration to monitor, predict and serve growth areas.”*
Noting that The Bahamas will continue to develop legislation that will enable it to provide services in wealth management, Minister Maynard-Gibson said objectives include the maximization of legitimate growth opportunities while working with partners to minimize the risk of the financial system being used for criminal activities.
She called on participants and presenters — those committed to the safeguarding of the international financial systems – to recognize the imperative of collaboration and cooperation and to use the forum to think through the critical issues and together find and implement solutions. ”Quite apart from the desire to avoid any appearance of violation of international principles of sovereign equality and non-discrimination,”* she said, *”we who take seriously the imperative of protecting the international financial system want to avoid the inevitable result of exploitation of inconsistencies in systems.”*
Trusting that all would leave the week of deliberations with a renewed commitment to strengthening the international financial system, the Minister concluded with the hope that the outcome will to *”create, as we have done in The Bahamas, an evolutionary benchmark that is risk based, growth oriented, competitive and an example to the world.”*