**Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments**
Minister Maynard-Gibson yesterday launched her Ministry’s Bahamas Strategy & Branding Survey. Meeting with industry stakeholders at the Buena Vista, the Minister pointed out that one of the hallmarks of the Bahamas Government has been “consultation and discussion” with the private sector. There is growing evidence, she said, that this collaborative effort is making a positive difference for growth and development in the financial services sector.
**Why The Bahamas?**
In a fiercely competitive world, a world of change at all levels, a world where “average” is not sufficient, The Bahamas must be able to adapt quickly to tap into the growth opportunities afforded by this global industry, if it is to remain a leadership centre for financial services.
*”To help us respond to the demands of the marketplace, the Government of The Bahamas is launching today a landmark strategy and branding survey,”* said Minister Maynard-Gibson. The survey will seek information from national stakeholders and global partners on a wide range of topics related to the financial services sector. For example, the survey will help determine whether customers believe that the current platform is one that will continue to be of service to them, now and in the future; it will highlight what matters most to the respondents when choosing an international financial centre and what aspects of the industry should receive the Ministry’s greatest attention in order to expand the services offered by the country.
According to the Minister, the Government understands and recognises that global competition is intensifying the need for stronger brand recognition in the financial services sector. To respond proactively to the globally competitive environment, and also in answer to recommendations originating from the financial services community, the Government of The Bahamas has secured the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a Strategy & Branding Survey.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the leading authorities in the world to conduct this type of strategy and brand survey, with a dedicated International Survey Unit (ISU) responsible for over 200 major global surveys. With this experience the ISU team works closely with clients and industry specialists to structure and present questionnaires designed to ensure that the most value is obtained from the results.
Survey responses will:
• Provide an assessment of The Bahamas’ reputation as an IFC,
• Assess the jurisdiction’s ability to provide key services,
• Show why customers use The Bahamas and conversely why they do not,
• Identify if the country needs to expand or provide greater focus to key segments of the industry, and
• Pinpoint whether growth constraints are primarily due to perception or experience.
The Minister further pointed out that as in all decisions, Government will sit with its partners to determine priorities and the nature of the response. *” We hope that the data will serve as an agreed directional tool, an independent voice in our internal assessments and discussions.”* It is anticipated that the data will also provide an empirical foundation to support future decisions regarding strategic and brand development.
In closing Minister Maynard-Gibson reinforced that the financial service industry is characterised by change and competition. Empirical data will help facilitate the ability to respond with agility and innovation to clients’ needs. *”With the results of the Strategy and Brand Survey, we will have yet another opportunity to demonstrate the power of consultation and collaboration.”*
Plans are to release the survey results at the January 2006 Bahamas Financial Services Retreat, being hosted by the Bahamas Financial Services Board at Our Lucaya, Grand Bahama. Retreat participants will have the opportunity to review conclusions and make input on action steps within interactive Working Group Sessions.