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Upcoming legislation to strengthen Bahamas financial services sector

With the New Year dawning, the Bahamas Financial Services Board is looking to put before government initiatives to maintain the jurisdiction's competitive edge. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Several key pieces of legislation to go before government in the near future are set to keep The Bahamas’ financial services sector competitive in an increasingly sophisticated marketplace, according to Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) chief executive officer Wendy Warren.

In line with a multilateral memorandum of understanding with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (ISOCO), The Bahamas is looking to enact a Securities Industry Act, which Warren claims will allow the industry to be more responsive to business demands. The act is a “major undertaking for The Bahamas and will provide for a number of rules and regulations to meet changes in the marketplace and regulation,” she adds.

Amendments to the Trustee Act to be considered by the government will help modernize the groundbreaking legislation, which has formed a template for similar provisions adopted by other jurisdictions.

The industry is also looking to abolish perpetuity periods. “They have been with the industry for many years, but when you look at the current model of ownership of property, the ways that individuals engage with property, perpetuity periods no longer play the role they used to,” says Warren. “We have been conservative on this front, but now is the time.”

The industry is also hoping to create a new structure, an executive entity, that will protect the original settlor’s intended purposes throughout the life-cycle of a trust, as it passes onto subsequent generations. “It will be a legal entity that can enshrine the views of the settlor, and one that really responds to the needs of the client,” adds Warren. “It will be a new structure that is unique to The Bahamas.”

Warren says that she is hopeful many of these industry initiatives will be enacted by the first half of next year.

World-class venue to be the centrepiece of 450-acre sports centre redevelopment that includes an athletes' village, velodrome cycle track and American football field

The Central Bank of The Bahamas is set to lay down the revised guidelines for the standards and requirements that licensees must adhere to. The Central Bank has also announced that the consultation period is now over.

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