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AG announces compendium of 15 financial industry related bills

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs John Delaney contributed a compendium of financial services industry bills to the Senate last week. The bills included those relating to international compliance and business regulation. 

Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011

Addressing the Senate on Wednesday last week, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs John Delaney stressed the importance of the financial services industry to the economy and the government’s role in regulating and promoting it.

“The industry is recognized as representing an estimated 15-20 per cent of the gross domestic product for The Bahamas, second in terms of economic impact to the tourism industry,” he said.

“The government’s primary role is that of regulator. However, as the second industry of our economy, the government must also facilitate the growth, development and general well-being of the sector.”

“So, in addition to ensuring that it is well regulated, the government seeks to facilitate growth and development of the industry by bringing to Parliament the proposed legislation.”

Seven of the bills, Delaney explained, address the accounting records keeping requirement for certain relevant entities and arrangements, including the International Business Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2011; Foundations (Amendment) Bill, 2011; and Purpose Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2011, among others.

A further two bills address tax compliance and cooperation, making a total of “nine regulatory-type amending bills.”

Other bills before Senate addressed the wealth management sector including proposed amends to the Trustee Act and the Purpose Trusts Act, as well as an Executive Entities Bill and one to abolish the rule against perpetuities.

“These fifteen bills are all in keeping with the strategy statement published by the government and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) last year, and tabled in this Honourable Chamber,” said the Attorney General.

“The government, together with the BFSB, is committed to developing the Bahamas brand. That brand will be synonymous with a clean environment and good regulation.”

“We believe that in a world where personal wealth, commerce and investments are more mobile than ever, The Bahamas is perfectly positioned to be the smartest, safest and simplest financial centre for connecting the world’s fastest growing economies and for serving those wealthy individuals with them.”

“It is hoped that all these bills would be enacted before year’s end.”

To view the entire contribution download the PDF here.

The real estate agent marketing Windward Palms–a spectacular beachfront home in Treasure Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas–has posted a visual tour of the property on YouTube.

Insolvency Practitioners Group, among others, contributed expertise to efforts to modernize and improve existing legislation under the Companies Act and International Business Companies Act. The consequent draft bill is now in circulation. Pictured is the Insolvency Practitioners Group (left to right): Tracy Knowles of KPMG; Kevin Cambridge of PwC; Marco Rolle Under Secretary, OAG; John Delaney QC, Attorney General; Fern Bowleg, Law Reform and Revision Commission, OAG; John S Bain, John S Bain (JSB & Associates); Anthony Kikivarakis, Deloitte & Touche; and Julian Rolle, Ernst & Young and president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants

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