Bahamas: Celebrating 50 Years of Success and Independence
Renowned for its world-class expertise and deep experience and excellent efficiency in a range of fiduciary services, the Bahamas has firmly positioned itself as the best base in the region for banking and financial services players of all sizes and segments. In late 2022, the country notched up another success when it attained technical compliance ratings of “Compliant and Largely Compliant” in all 40 of the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations, namely International Anti-Money Laundering, Countering of Terrorism and Proliferation Standards. The Bahamas thus ended last year as only the second jurisdiction in the Caribbean, South and North American regions to attain such standing. The news was a ringing endorsement of the work of leading industry body the BFSB, which uses a multidisciplinary approach to complement financial services associations and represent all sectors of the industry, ranging from wealth management to investment funds. In addition, the well respected entity is tasked with promoting the Bahamas among international businesses and investors.
As well as that, the BFSB actively works to maintain the country’s preeminent position in the fluctuating international market and regularly hosts annual meetings, like the International Business and Finance Summit, which enables crucial collaboration with global thought leaders. “We don’t go out and get clients, our members do,” explains BFSB CEO and Executive Director, Tanya McCartney. “The BFSB has over 200 members and we represent their interests as an advocate and an enabler. Our projects are primarily marketing and promotion and, on that front, we will once again take the message of our value proposition into the world in 2023, hosting various briefing sessions supported by senior government officials, including ministers. “Due to developments in the digital asset space, there is a renewed interest in the Bahamas as a traditional financial services center; people want to know more about our traditional offerings in terms of fiduciary services, investment funds, asset and wealth management.
“In 2023 and beyond, we will continue to work closely with the government to ensure that the industry is aware of any regulatory changes and that industry implements those changes because our members are committed to ensuring we are not on any adverse listings and that we adhere to international standards.” The senior executive notes that other financial jurisdictions in the region tend to be single product shops, whereas the Bahamas has a very diverse financial services toolkit that caters to institutional clients and private individual clients, giving it an enviable agility and competitive advantage over other nations. “We’re looking at opportunities where we can continue to innovate,” McCartney adds. “We’re not a regulatory body, but influence regulation. One of our key strategic priorities is to create an international awareness that the Bahamas is a financial services jurisdiction committed to the highest standards of regulation and committed to international cooperation; a very well-regulated jurisdiction.”