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Bahamas to host World Conferenceof Banking and Finance Institutes

In a first for The Bahamas, the 19th World Conference of Banking and Finance Institutes is coming to town, along with heads of various financial sector institutes from around the world.

The biennial event, which is being hosted by the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services(BIFS), will be held at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island from March 20-23, with its opening ceremony planned for the 21st. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will bring opening remarks. This year’s theme is”Creating a Progressive Financial Services Environment: Trust, Accountability, Competence, Innovations”.

“I want[delegates]to leave with the impression that The Bahamas’banking sector is sophisticated, it is a competitor, and that we have a dynamic, highly intellectual workforce that carries out the work in The Bahamas,”said Kim Bodie, executive director of BIFS, during a recent interview withGuardian Business.

The first day of the seminar will focus on trust and accountability, while day two will be all about competence and innovation.

Among the opening speakers, Simon Culhane will address’integrity at work’, which BIFS indicates is appropriate for employees throughout an organization and is targeted at CEOs, managers, supervisors, lawyers, accountants, and administrators. Planners say the session will be both interactive and informative. Participants will experience case studies from real-life experiences and interact with the presenter in real time through hand-held voting machines.

Culhane is the chief executive and a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment(CISI),”the largest and most widely respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK, and in a growing number of major financial centers across the world,”according to the CISI website. He has been deputy director of the Prime Minister’s Efficiency Unit in the UK Cabinet Office, is a former director of the Chairman’s Office for Deutsche Bank, and has served in other key roles in the UK and internationally.

The conference will be recognized for Continuing

Professional Education(CPE)and Continuing Professional Development(CPD) hours for members of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants(BICA), the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers(BACO)and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners(STEP).

“While we are the host, it is the industry’s conference,”Bodie said. She added that it is only the second time it is being held in the region, and when Jamaica hosted the event in 1997,”they really put their best foot forward.”

“It is important that the stakeholders, our members, and the other banks that are operating in our country see the need to support this effort, so that the delegates who come to the conference would leave The Bahamas with a different experience,”Bodie said.

Delegates are expected from Botswana, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, the United States, Italy, India and Brazil.

Registration is ongoing and more information can be found at www.wcbi-bahamas.com.

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