The Association of International Banks & Trust Companies in The Bahamas (AIBT) has captured the annual BFSB **Financial Services Development and Promotion Award**.

Nominated by Peter Evans of the Private Trust Corporation, AIBT was recognised for its very direct contribution to the introduction of Foundations legislation in The Bahamas. In fact, the Association is credited with being the “architect” of the Foundations Act, having produced the first working draft some 10 years ago. For a number of years, AIBT worked around the challenges of introducing a civil law concept within a common law country. There was precedent in Gibraltar, where a draft bill was developed – although never passed into law – and AIBT benchmarked local legislation against this as well as several other jurisdictions. The end result was a piece of legislation successfully adapted to the common law legal environment of The Bahamas.

Throughout this process, AIBT engaged in a consultative/advocacy approach with industry and Government, and continued to make input on the Regulations for the Foundations Act 2004, and on the 2005 Amendment to the legislation.

Identified by the financial services industry as an important step in the growing of the sector, the Foundations Act bridges legal systems, enhancing the attractiveness of The Bahamas as a truly international arena for business. Supporters describe the legislation as a milestone because The Bahamas was the first premier IFC with legal provision for foundations.

Foundations represent an enhancement of the jurisdiction’s capability to service an expanded client base and its commitment to remain relevant to new and potential clients domiciled in civil law countries. There has been a steady flow of incorporations since the legislation and regulations were enacted.

AIBT was established in 1976 to represent the International Banks and Trust Companies operating from The Bahamas. The Association is funded by its members and works with them to promote professional standards in the industry and continued success and understanding of the banking sector.

The Development and Promotion Award is part of BFSB’s Industry Excellence Awards programme, which also recognises the **Executive of the Year**, **Professional of the Year**, **Achiever of the Year**, and **Financial Services Student of the Year**. Nominations are received from the general public, with an independent Blue Ribbon Panel making the final selection. This year’s Blue Ribbon Panel comprised: Sylvia Carey, Central Bank of the Bahamas; Larry Roberts, Bahamas Realty; Hugh Sands, Corporate Director; Bathsheba Stewart, Entrepreneur; Heather Thompson, Higgs & Johnson and previous EOTY awardee.

*Photo shows Robert Lotmore, current AIBT Chairman receiving the Award from the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments. Also pictured is past AIBT Chairman Bruce Bell.