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Features - Jan 2009



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Bahamas welcomes banks

Bahamas welcomes banks

Bahamas Institute of Financial Services to host 20th World Conference of Banking Institutes

The Bahamas Investor Magazine
January 1, 2009
January 1, 2009
Kim Bodie

At the 18th World Conference of Banking Institutes held in Toronto, Canada in April 2007, delegates from 25 countries participated and overwhelmingly agreed that The Bahamas would host the 2011 conference.

For participants the decision did not warrant much debate. In 2006, The Bahamas received the acclaimed distinction from The Banker magazine as being one of the “leading financial centres in the western hemisphere”—a mantle well-earned through 36 years of significant development in financial services since winning its independence in 1973.

The financial services industry in The Bahamas now operates at a highly sophisticated level with a cadre of professional, qualified and trained staff. The innovative and proactive services provided to cater for and adapt to the changing needs of the financial industry were highlighted during the conference in Canada.

Delegates would also have had little trouble choosing the jurisdiction with its sun-drenched islands and crystal clear waters as an ideal location for such a prestigious event.

The hosts of the conference will be the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS), which has been at the forefront of financial education and training for employees in the financial services sector right from the birth of the industry in The Bahamas.

The institute was established in 1975 by the first governor of The Central Bank of The Bahamas, Timothy Baswell Donaldson, along with seven other senior officers of leading private and domestic banks. The institute is registered as a not-for-profit entity and offers a wide range of quality-assured certificates, diplomas and professional certification programmes, all related to and specifically designed to address the training demands of employees in the industry. It is governed by a council of 20 senior officers of member financial institutions that constitutes some 46 banks and private offshore companies.

Even with this pedigree and experience, hosting the conference in 2011 will be a major undertaking. As host, the institute will be expected to organize two full days of open forum discussions on topics relevant to the financial services training and education institutes from a global perspective.

Additionally, BIFS will be responsible for the delegates’ social events, including finding entertainment for them and their families.

At the 19th World Conference, scheduled to be held in Dubai this year, the institute will have the opportunity to highlight and promote The Bahamas to the delegates, enticing them to attend in 2011. This will be only the second time the event has been held in the region and it will take a concerted effort by everyone involved in the financial services sector, from government agencies to private sector financial institutions, to make the conference a truly successful Bahamas experience for delegates from all over the world.

Kim Bodie
Native to Nassau, Kim Bodie joined the BIFS in 1980 as secretary to the registrar and was promoted to executive administrator in 1986. In 2006 she was appointed executive director. She has held high-profile board positions with the Bahamas Human Resources Development Association, among others. She is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University, Florida, receiving a BA degree in professional management.

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