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Financial services “cannot be mediocre”

CFAL senior vice president Kevin Burrows warned against complacency during a recent seminar in Nassau held by the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services and said the sector must seek out new opportunities. 

Friday, July 6, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012

CFAL senior vice president Kevin Burrows believes there is a need for a more innovative approach in financial services and pinpoints the maritime and credit union sectors as potential drivers for growth.

Speaking at a recent seminar hosted by the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS), the insurance industry leader said that, while The Bahamas had already shown innovation in new legislation such as the amendments to the Trustee Act and creation of the Bahamas Executive Entity (BEE), more could be done to transform the sector.

“Our long-term viability and ability to compete depends on our ability to innovate,” he said. “We must be able to deliver financial services to an increasingly sophisticated clientele. We have to be able to operate at a level where there is no distinction between the services they can get here compared to London, New York or Singapore.”

“We cannot be mediocre.”

Burrows said the maritime sector and credit unions offered opportunities that, so far, have not been exploited. “Credit unions are a large section of our domestic financial services industry that does not immediately come to mind, but they have assets to invest and products to sell. The credit union space can be a meaningful client.”

The Bahamas can also excel in arbitration, according to Burrows who noted: “Arbitration is an area where The Bahamas can start to get ahead of the pack and lead the curve.”

He also praised the government’s commitment to improving infrastructure, saying that it is crucial to attract high-net-worth clients.

“Improvement of the physical infrastructure is something we have to be aware of,” he advised. “As we grow the industry and more people want to spend time where their money resides, the infrastructure is important.”

“It is an area where we have to step up our game to fully compete.”


Speaking at a recent Bahamas Institute of Financial Services seminar Minister for Financial Services Ryan Pinder reiterated the government's view that the current tax structure is too narrow and prone to "leakages."

Senior vice president of Commercial and Family Islands, Tellis Symonette, has said that the Bahamas Telecommunications Company is in the process of preparing a new package of services aimed at local and international businesses.

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