The Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, M.P. was sworn in as Minister of Financial Services by Governor General, Sir Arthur Foulkes today. He immediately pledged to introduce initiatives that will solidify the industry for renewed and sustained growth. He spoke to charting a course to expand the industry into new areas, while also addressing pending international reviews relating to implementation of international standards in transparency and information exchange.

Minister Pinder stressed the importance of ensuring ‘ease of doing business’ in financial services, and of focussing on job creation as well as entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians within a dynamic sector of the economy. Marketing will feature prominently in the Ministry’s work plan over the next five years, said the Minister, as will diversification of the product offering.

In making the announcement of the first wave of Ministerial appointments, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie noted that it was a reflection of the urgency that the new government attaches to the revitalisation of the economy, including in financial services. There previously was a Ministry of Financial Services and Investments under the Christie Government in 2002-2007. The new Administration has stated that the re-established Ministry of Financial Services will give dedicated full time leadership for the development and promotion of the second largest industry in The Bahamas. To further support financial services, it has pledged to address the truly global nature of the industry and the concomitant need for building the capacity to compete. This will include ensuring the stability and predictability of the business environment, the quality of staffing available, and the support provided by infrastructure.

The Charter for Governance singles out the important goal of broadening and deepening the perception of The Bahamas as a place where real business can be conducted as opposed to a place through which business is conducted. Also, *“The sector must maintain the degree of robustness and consistent growth required to support the overall standard of living to which Bahamians have become accustomed.”* In this connection emphasis will be placed on cutting edge law reforms that facilitate an increasing range of complex cross border transactions. Sub sectors and service areas that have been targeted include the international shipping registry, blue-chip insurance products, funds of all types, and arbitration.

The new Minister acknowledges the crucial role financial services plays in supporting the Bahamian economy, both directly by providing well paid employment opportunities for Bahamians, and indirectly by contributing and promoting other key sectors of the economy, such as tourism, real estate, construction and to individuals in related employment opportunities. Integrating the sector with the rest of the economy will be a key goal going forward.

BFSB CEO & Executive Director Aliya Allen notes, “*BFSB welcomes the appointment of the Hon. Ryan Pinder as Minister of Financial Services. He has been involved with BFSB in his professional capacity, actively contributing to our working groups, initiatives and projects. We look forward to his continued support of BFSB’s mandate and working together to promote the many advantages of The Bahamas as an international business and finance centre.”*

##About the Minister##

The Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Elizabeth, Mr. Pinder has served as Vice Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), a member of both the Leadership Council and National General Council and the Co-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Foreign Trade.

He is a certified United States tax attorney licensed to practice law in both the United States of America and The Bahamas. He served previously as an International Tax and Commercial Consultant with OL Private Corporate Counsel Ltd., as well as a Tax Consultant with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Mr. Pinder received his tertiary education at the University of Miami where he earned a Bachelors of Business Administration in International Finance and Marketing; a Masters of Business Administration in Finance; a Juris Doctor Law degree; and a LLM in International Taxation.