Friday, June 8, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
Minister Pinder made the remarks this week during his contribution in the 2012/2013 budget debate in the House of Assembly.
“We in the Ministry have already started our initial six-month strategy plan, which will be expanded into a more comprehensive five-year strategic plan for the Ministry of Financial Services,” he said.
The Minister went on to say that Bahamian ownership in the sector is still “limited” and that further development of the domestic financial services industry, products and business lines was needed to facilitate the ownership of the industry by Bahamians.
“This would include opportunities in the insurance industry, the commercial market related to investment funds and other financial instruments. A coordinated approach enhancing the domestic financial services market, while promoting Bahamian entrepreneurism in the industry is necessary and consistent with our philosophy of believing in Bahamians,” he said.
During the first month of the plan, several elements will be addressed including:
- An Ease of Doing Business agenda to identify the gaps and weaknesses identified by international indices;
- A Listening Tour where industry participants can voice their main concerns; and
- International concerns platform to deal with international pressures on the industry.
In the second month, the Ministry will launch an education initiative to develop a programme specifically for the financial services industry to fill the skill gaps of Bahamians in the industry.
There are also plans to review all “applicable legislation and products” for the industry and plans to review the markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America.
During the third month the Ministry will strive to initiate a Launch Innovation Committee with the responsibility of interacting with the private sector to identify potential new products for the industry. There will be a market review of North America and Canada, consistent with the review of Asia and Latin America. In addition, there will be an Industry Sector review targeting insurance and funds.
The focus in the fourth month will be on analysing the competitive landscape: private wealth management; funds; insurance; and a review of the domestic industry (retail banking, credit, and other financial services).
Minister Pinder said that offshore banking has been a dominant sector of financial services, however, a mandate of the Ministry of Financial Services is to create plans and opportunity to further develop the domestic financial services industry.
In the fifth month the Ministry will concentrate on a review of the jurisdiction–a final component of the five-year strategic plan to incorporate all of the earlier sector and country reviews and analysis into a comprehensive jurisdiction review.
Pinder said that this would be the “foundational component of the strategic development plan.”
A marketing strategy and schedule will follow for the Ministry with a focus of promoting the industry and the jurisdiction.
The sixth month will culminate in the strategic plan based on the comprehensive industry sector and jurisdiction reviews, with consultation from the private sector and industry groups. In addition, there will be a focus on local entrepreneurship in the sector with ownership opportunities for Bahamians.
“We will initiate this plan to restore confidence and grow the financial services market. Month six will begin the initiation of the five-year strategic plan,” he added.