BahamasWeekly – June 6 2012 Nassau, The Bahamas – The Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Ryan Pinder says that he wants the world to know that The Bahamas is ‘open for business.’ After noting his ‘humility’ at being entrusted with heading the reinstated ministry, Mr. Pinder said he is ready to do his part in the newly elected government’s plan to expand the economy.
These remarks were made during his contribution to the 2012/2013-budget debate currently taking place in the House of Assembly.
“I am humbled by the decision of the Right Honourable Prime Minister for selecting me to be the Minister of Financial Services. In the Prime Minister’s prior administration, it was he that had the progressive vision to create the Ministry of Financial Services – setting the way for regional competitors to mimic his method of governance. Thank you Prime Minister for the trust in continuing your legacy, I promise, I will not let you down.”
Mr. Pinder said that with the ‘reintroduction’ of the ministry, several areas will be addressed including the portfolios of 1) the financial services industry, 2) establishment of The Bahamas as an International Arbitration Sector, 3) Trade development and promotion, and 4) industrial expansion and promotion. He said that previously, the financial services industry was underserved, resulting in the ‘suffering’ of the industry. “For the last 5 reporting cycles, the Bahamas has fallen in the rankings of The Global Financial Centres Index,” said Mr. Pinder. “The Bahamas has fallen from being ranked 59, to 64, to 67, to 72 and now to 75 in the most recent report. We are listed 10 th out of the top 10 offshore centres.”
He said that the government’s current mandate will be to ensure that the financial services industry will not merely be “Better in the Bahamas” but it will be “Best in the Bahamas”. “We have a plan; we are building a great team.” Included in those plans are:
1) the development of medium and long term marketing and promotional plans for the financial services industry in The Bahamas for all sectors, including Banking, Trusts, Private Equity Funds, Investment Funds, Insurance, Registered Entities, Ship Registry, Aircraft Registry and International Arbitration;
2) The analysis of the international competitive landscape and development of a strategy position for growth and strengthening of the industry;
3). The development of an initiative focused on the rebranding of The Bahamas as a major International Financial Centre;
4). Liaising with the Attorney General’s Office for the development and improvement of existing legislative toolkit, including dialogue with and assist the Registrar General’s office on issues of operational efficiency and service.
5). To organise and participate in promotional tours and to establish and deepen relationships with international advisors in co-ordination with BFSB.
6). In coordination with the industry groups and the College of the Bahamas, to encourage and develop internationally recognised training programs to improve the quality of locally available staffing in the financial services industry, and to establish training and education to help define career paths for Bahamians in the financial services industry.
7). To advance and promote financial services in the domestic market in accordance with international standards (retail banking, insurance, credit and other financial services). This will provide the basis to assess the needs and concerns of independent service providers and to develop a programme for the promotion of entrepreneurship in the financial services industry.
“These are some of our initial plans in the Ministry of Financial Services for the development of the financial services industry, providing an expanded industry, creating employment and career development opportunities, all for the best interest of Bahamians.”