BFSB Chief Awaits Talks Over ‘Structural Reform’

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A senior Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) chief executive yesterday said she anticipates wide-ranging talks on “overall structural reform” to make the economy more resilient will take place shortly.

Tanya McCartney, the BFSB’s chief executive and executive director, told Tribune Business that such discussions will likely go beyond tax reform and the implications of the G-7’s 15 percent minimum global corporate tax agreement as she hailed the financial services industry’s resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Central Bank’s Quarterly Economic Report (QER) indicated that the overall sector remained relatively stable and we concur with that view. The sector has shown tremendous resilience during this pandemic,” she said in responding to the findings of that document.

The Central Bank report said the financial services industry had lost almost 160 jobs in 2020, with the banking sector suffering multi-billion dollar declines in “balance sheet” and “fiduciary” assets. It added that the “business footprint of the sector remained structurally challenged” with the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the ever-escalating regulatory pressures on the international segment.

However, Ms McCartney said: “The Bahamas is still an attractive IFC (international financial centre). We continue to engage with international advisers and service providers to inform as to why The Bahamas remains a jurisdiction of choice for international financial services.

“In so doing we speak to the progress that we have made to implement global regulatory requirements, we emphasise our strengths as a jurisdiction, which include our location, expertise in trust and fiduciary services as well as our ability to innovate.

“BFSB continues to use multiple channels to promote the jurisdiction, even during the pandemic. We have undertaken a number of marketing and promotion initiatives for the year 2021, and we have several planned for the remainder of the year. BFSB is already looking at marketing and promotion initiatives for 2022.”

Ms McCartney continued: “We concur with the informed outlook and conclusions made by the Central Bank of The Bahamas in its quarterly economic review, which was published last week. The financial sector has been quite resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with firms leveraging existing contingency/business continuity plans, resulting in relative stability.

Article Credit: Tribune 242

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