**Barbara Ferguson**

At its 7th Awards Banquet at the Sandals Royal Bahamian last evening, the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) announced its **Professional of the Year** – as part of its annual Excellence Awards programme. She is Barbara Ferguson, Assistant Manager, Account Investigations & Fraud, Credit Card Centre, RBC Royal Bank of Canada.

Barbara Ferguson has worked in the financial services industry and with RBC Royal Bank of Canada for the past thirty (30) years. She has held the position of Secretary, Loans Clerk, Customer Service Supervisor, Operations Officer, and Chargeback Officer.

In her current role she has been responsible for the consolidation of the chargeback function from the RBC Barbados office to The Bahamas.

Ms. Ferguson’s outstanding work with the RBC fraud team in Canada led to the implementation of a revolutionary fraud detection system in the Caribbean region. This system detects fraud in real time and provides RBC staff with the information and tools needed to prevent fraud. As a result, fraud has been reduced significantly; near $500,000 2 years ago, it is now down to about $65,000 year to date 2007. Ms. Ferguson played a lead role in the decision to perform this task locally, whereas other financial institutions have outsourced this function offshore. She now oversees fraud investigation and detection for RBC across the entire Caribbean region.

She is committed to the development of her staff and ensures that they are cross-trained in various departments each year, in an effort to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Two years ago Barbara enrolled in the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services Banking Certificate programme. Barbara completed the programme with the highest overall GPA, graduating this year with many merits and distinctions.

Active in the community, Ms. Ferguson is past Treasurer of the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (B.A.A.A.) and served as the Manager of several National Track & Field teams, and Assistant Treasurer of the Eastern Pacesetters of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Also announced at the Industry Excellence Awards Banquet, Academy-award style, were the winners in four other categories:

• Executive of the Year: **Brian M. Moree**, Senior Partner, McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes

• Achiever of the Year: **Marvin Nairn**, Senior Trust Service Officer, Cititrust (Bahamas) Limited

• Development & Promotion Award: **Commonwealth Bank Limited**

• FSI Student of the Year: **La’Nelle Deleveaux**, now a Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young.

Nominees for the **Professional of the Year** award must display leadership qualities, with consistent contributions made to his/her organisation.