The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) has been awarded for its “outstanding promotion of financial services” in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian last year, by UK-based publication International Investor.
The global award recommends financial institutions and top companies from around the world and rates them on their ability to remain steady in delivering first-rate service, opportunity, innovation and performance.
BFSB Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Tanya McCartney said it was an honor to receive the recognition of the 2020 award, which was formally announced on Tuesday.
“Obviously, their reach is global so it was competitive, but it’s based on feedback from their subscribers and individuals who they have contact with the investment and financial services space around the world. So this is excellent news for us, as the primary mandate of BFSB is really to tell The Bahamas’ story as to why we are the clear choice for international financial services,” McCartney said in an interview with Guardian Business yesterday.
“This was even more important in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian obviously, where we really went into high gear. Once persons were back to work, we set about telling all of our international partners that The Bahamas was open for business and that Nassau, New Providence, which is the hub for commercial activities, was operational and that we were a part of the critical support that would be needed for the islands most affected, Grand Bahama and Abaco.”
A delegation from the BFSB and the Ministry of Financial Services traveled to New York on September 18, 2019 – just two weeks after the Category 5 storm devastated parts of The Bahamas – to make it clear to international stakeholders that the country’s financial services sector remained open for business.
McCartney said the briefings with advisors and professionals demonstrated in a real way that The Bahamas did not skip a beat, but that there were two islands that were greatly affected that their support was needed as the county sought to bring aide to those islands.
“Apart from talking about the fact that we were open for business in the aftermath of the storm, as anyone keeping abreast with financial services would know we have also been impacted by a number of international initiatives and there have been tremendous changes in the regulatory environment, review of the way that we treat domestic versus international companies and the need for there to be economic substance. We’ve introduced what is called the beneficial owner register, so in a number of ways we are transforming, because this is continuous,” McCartney said.
“And for some time, persons wanted to know what approach The Bahamas was taking as legislation had to be implemented very quickly and so the response to us going out was very good, because it provided certainty. We had the minister attending with us, who was able to speak to the government’s policy commitment to being a well-regulated jurisdiction, because people don’t want to be doing business with jurisdictions that are on adverse listings.
“So, we were able to convey that we are doing all we can do to ensure that we adhere to international standards, while also being committed to the business side of things in terms of product innovation, delivery of quality service and ensuring that our advisors were there taking a solution driven approach to meeting international client needs.”