February 24, 2012
February 24, 2012
A leading local accountant has rejected the idea of a separate ministry dedicated solely to financial services, saying the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) is sufficient to meet the needs of the sector—provided it receives more funding.
Managing partner at Deloitte Bahamas Raymond Winder says there is no need for a Ministry of Financial Services.
His comments come on the back of suggestions made by lawyer Brian Moree at the Bahamas Business Outlook conference in January that a Ministry of Financial Services would greatly benefit the sector.
“Any serious national commitment to grow the financial services industry in The Bahamas should start with the creation of a state-of-the-art, adequately funded and resourced Ministry of Financial Services, dedicated solely to achieving significant growth and expansion,” the senior partner at McKinney Bancroft & Hughes told attendees at the Nassau conference.
Winder counters: “Time is not on your side in the financial services industry. You cannot wait around until government meets. I do not see a ministry having the kind of nimbleness to respond to the issues that are going to come our way.”
“The BFSB is right to be the gatekeeper around what new legislation we have and gauging the temperature of what is going on in the industry and how we ought to respond,” he says.
“It is far more effective, far more proactive and it does not have to deal with government bureaucracy. If we truly want to be more competitive we are going to have to provide more funding for that organization.”
Winder believes that the BFSB should take responsibility for guiding the sector and help it weather the current financial downturn.
“The BFSB should be used to do the legwork—to draft legislation, to identify opportunities, to work out strategies and to respond to threats.”