Five areas of opportunity have been identified by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) in an updated strategy for the country’s financial services industry. The *“Future State Roadmap for Financial Services”* was developed following extensive consultation with BFSB members and Government and regulatory representatives, coordinated by Ernst & Young.
The updated 2016 strategy consolidates market opportunities into the following areas: Latin America, Asia, US Trust & Fiduciary, Funds and Innovation. Each will have a separate work stream to monitor progress and measure success.
* For Latin America, The Bahamas believes its success in Brazil can be replicated across the region with HNWIs/UNWIs looking to diversify their investments.
* Although there are significant challenges in targeting Asian wealth, there remains significant opportunity, particularly with the extent of Chinese investment in Bahamian infrastructure and tourism.
* U.S. Trust & Fiduciary services have been traditionally under-served by The Bahamas which presents an opportunity for experienced Bahamian trust professionals to provide advice and services to trust with U.S. beneficiaries.
* Funds are viewed as a “gateway” to a full financial services offering. At the same time, the success of The Investment Condominium (ICON) can be built upon with further niche market offerings tailored to individual target markets.
* Innovation will receive a further boost with the Bahamian Government looking to make significant investment in technology, processes and infrastructure to further improve the ease of doing business in the jurisdiction.
##Background and Context##
During 2010 The Government of The Bahamas, in association with financial service private sector firms (via the consolidating auspices of the Bahamas Financial Services Board), determined that a comprehensive study of available strategic options was a natural and valuable extension to its plans for The Bahamas as an International Financial Jurisdiction (IFJ).
The foundation for such a strategy was established by the Government’s *‘Vision and Strategic Framework’* announcement in 2009, which set a broad direction and clear tone for the future development of The Bahamas as a place to do business.
In 2016 the decision was taken to review progress of this strategy, identify how the industry has changed since 2010, and update the objectives to produce a revised strategy for the four year period up to 2020. This strategy is informed by the discussions and presentations at the 2016 International Business and Financial Summit hosted by the BFSB, for which the formal theme was *‘The Bahamas Advantage: Defining Our Value Proposition’*.
The 2010 strategy identified 7 distinct market opportunities with action plans and targets linked to each one. The 7 market opportunities were as follows: Brazil, LatAm, Hong Kong, US Trust & Fiduciary, Funds, Insurance and Shipping. Although it is generally recognized that success has been achieved in some of the opportunities (in particular, Brazil), limited tracking of progress against targets/action plans has been performed, therefore no definite judgment can be made on overall success.
The revised strategy will specify the source of the data required to measure each individual target, in addition all action plans will be assigned an owner and target completion date. A governance structure for the revised strategy will also be established to track actions and targets.