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BAHAMAS: Resistance to regulatory changes is futile for small, independent nations

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#Bahamas, May 01, 2018 – Nassau – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said that when it comes to regulatory best practice, the only constant has been change.

Against this tide of change, resistance has been futile, particularly for international financial centres operating in small, independent nations, DPM Turnquest said at the Securities Commission of The Bahamas’ Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, 2000 Industry Briefing, British Colonial Hilton, Thursday, April 26, 2018.

“Such jurisdictions are left with one option:  To adapt!  Adaptation is necessary to take advantage of the new realities, to compete globally, and to have a chance at prosperity.”

He said, “This jurisdiction is adapting. There is a burgeoning renaissance in our financial services industry, and much of it is being led by financial services regulators.”

The DPM explained that it is the regulators who must keep one finger firmly pressed on the pulse of global regulatory best practice, and another pressed on the pulse of the industries they oversee.

“In the broad industry, there are developments such as the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, 2018, which was passed in the House of Assembly on the 18th April 2018.

“You also would have received for consultation the Guidance Notes on Managing Financial Crime Risk and Proliferation Financing, produced by the Group of Financial Services Regulators.  The Group, in case you are not aware, consists of agencies including the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, The Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas and the Compliance Commission of The Bahamas.”

He said the Securities Commission has been doing some transformative work in the securities industry with regard to overhauling the investment funds legislative framework.

DPM Turnquest highlighted the work being done to introduce a fresh robust, modern legislative framework for the industry.  He said the Commission circulated the draft Financial and Corporate Services Providers Bill, 2018 for public consultation last year July, along with the Money Lenders Rules and the Fees Rules.

“Of course, the draft Financial and Corporate Service Providers (General) Regulations, 2018; the draft Financial and Corporate Service Providers (Application) Regulations, 2018; and an amended draft Financial and Corporate Service Providers (Fees) Rules, 2018 have recently completed consultation and are now on their way for review by the Cabinet.”

Speaking broadly on the proposed Legislation and how it fits into a holistic view of financial services in the jurisdiction, DPM Turnquest said the proposed legislation is robust, considerably more so than the prevailing Act, and seeks to close regulatory gaps identified by various global organisations and standards setters including the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

He said the new framework will improve the regulator’s understanding of all the activities taking place in the industry to be able to make more informed assessments of risk within the industry, which will also bolster its risk-based supervision of the industry.

“The legislation is structured to provide for Rules to govern specific financial services activity. Importantly, the legislation will facilitate strengthening and oversight of critical financial services activities that are currently operating from within the jurisdiction.”

The DPM said its flexible structure also means that as other activities are identified which should be captured, Rules may be introduced to govern them.  He said the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism regime, or “AML/CFT regime for financial and corporate service providers” will be fortified under the new legislation, with greater specificity provided for AML/CFT administrative penalties and breaches.

“Reporting requirements have also been introduced which will, among other things, assist the jurisdiction in demonstrating its effectiveness at providing current, accurate beneficial ownership information and accounting records.

“This is vital to demonstrate to the international community our intentions to be participants in protecting the financial system from abuse, to participate with the global community to protect sovereign tax bases, and to honour our commitments to the world in this regard.”

The DPM said with the implementation of the proposed legislation, the Government looks to a more harmonized financial services sector operating under and recognized for best practices and world-class regulation.

 

By Llonella Gilbert

Photo Caption

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest brings opening remarks at the Securities Commission of The Bahamas’ Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, 2000 Industry Briefing, British Colonial Hilton, Thursday, April 26, 2018.

(BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)

 

 

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Da Rocks’ Jonquel Jones and Sun aim to repeat win in bid for WNBA Championship

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#USA, September 18, 2022 – Jonquel Jones of Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama power forward and centre for the Suns had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in a victorious and glorious effort against the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night. The Connecticut Suns holding on in game three, which could have been elimination if that score went the Aces way.

Now, on ESPN Sunday Jones is hoping for another win and a tie of the series which is a best of game five.

The Sun are now 4-0 in elimination games in the playoffs so far this postseason.

There was other good news on the weekend for Bahamian Jonquel, as she was named an All-WNBA Second Team selection.  Jones scored 126 overall, receiving 12 first team votes and 22 second team votes which came as no surprise to many.  Jonquel leads the Suns in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots.  She averages 14.6 points per game, ranking in the top 20 in the WNBA for scoring.

Add to the road Jonquel is still on for WNBA Champion and historic Bahamian athlete, as a member of the All- WNBA First Team, she will receive $10,300 and each member of the Second Team will receive $5,150.

The Bahamas continues to be proud of this outstanding player.

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Tourism, Investments & Aviation Minister I. Chester Cooper Elected Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization

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#TheBahamas, September 16, 2022 –  The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, was elected to continue to serve as a vice chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism Meetings this week.

DPM Cooper is leading a delegation which includes Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General (ADG) and Dr Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, to the four-day CTO Business Meetings which are taking place in the Cayman Islands 12-15 September 2022.

“I am grateful and honoured to serve in this capacity on behalf of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region,” DPM Cooper said.

“It is important that we continue to forge deeper relations with our tourism counterparts and support each other as we aim for full economic recovery. It is my hope that ongoing efforts will enhance our tourism product across the region and position the Caribbean as the most desirable destination year-round.”

In his role as CTO Vice Chairman, DPM Cooper will provide updates regarding the region’s performance and developments.

The CTO is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising over 24 member countries and territories and provides support to those members in marketing, sustainable tourism, communications, and research & information technology. This year’s conference focuses on regional recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for the future of tourism.

CTO Business Meetings have been on hold since 2020, making this meeting the organisation’s first in-person event following the onset of the pandemic.

For more information, visit Bahamas.com.

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Statement from the Office of The Prime Minister on the Prime Minister’s Travel to the State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II and UNGA 77th Session

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#TheBahamas, September 15, 2022 – Prime Minister Philip Edward Davis KC, MP, has been invited to attend The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in London.  Prime Minister Davis will depart for London on September 16, 2022.

Following the Prime Minister’s travel to London, he will leave for New York, where he will attend the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.  Prime Minister Davis will return to The Bahamas on September 25th, 2022.

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper will serve as Acting Prime Minister while Prime Minister Davis is abroad.

You are encouraged to follow The Office of The Prime Minister’s social media platforms for regular updates during the Prime Minister’s travel.

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