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Nassau hosts “groundbreaking” regional FATCA conference

The Ministry of Financial Services is holding a two-day conference in Nassau this week on the implementation of the US Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act. Pictured: Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder speaks during the first day of the regional conference on FATCA being held at the British Colonial Hilton April 9-10, 2013. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose) 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Ministry of Financial Services is continuing to prepare the Bahamas’ financial services sector for the implementation of the US Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with a two-day conference being held in Nassau April 9-10.

Representatives from both the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are attending the event being held at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau.

The Complying With FATCA conference is organized by the Ministry in collaboration with the Bahamas Assocation of Compliance Officers (BACO) and has attracted financial professionals from across the Caribbean.


Opening the event yesterday, Minister for Financial Services Ryan Pinder said the conference was “a groundbreaking opportunity” and “the first of its kind in the region.”

FATCA requires all foreign financial institutions to disclose information on their US accounts to the US Treasury. It is due to become law next year.

The first day of the conference saw speakers from the Treasury and the IRS outlining the regulations in detail and explaining how they will affect the various facets of the financial services industry.

In his opening address, Minister Pinder said that he had consulted widely with the private sector and believed that there was “a mood of intimidation and a sense of being overwhelmed” ahead of the implementation of the regulation.

He said that FATCA reflected a new drive towards greater transparency and compliance worldwide and urged the industry to embrace the changes.

“We as an industry must be prepared to accept the new normal,” he said.

“The global paradigm is shifting to an expectation of transparency.”

“We must ensure that The Bahamas develops a detailed strategy to remain competitive.”

He praised the private sector for engaging with government and urged the audience to take advantage of the event to learn more about FATCA saying: “This is a unique opportunity on a technical and educational level.”

cmorris@dupuch.com

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