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Bahamas touted as ‘well-regulated’ international financial center

CHESTER ROBARDS
Senior Business Reporter
chester@nasguard.com

Published: May 19, 2017

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The Bahamas has been recognized as a “well-regulated” international financial center by Hedgeweek.com, which spoke to CEO and Executive Director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board Tanya McCartney about the lengths The Bahamas has gone in order to remain a compliant jurisdiction.

A Hedgeweek.com article hails the archipelago’s “strong supervision” of the financial services sector “coupled with a commitment to innovation” as the factors that make The Bahamas “a jurisdiction of choice for investment funds”.

McCartney explained to Hedgeweek that The Bahamas’ financial services sector is highly compliant and adheres to the principles of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). However, she told the online magazine that this country could always do more to strengthen its position, especially with respect to “investment schemes”.

She explained to Hedgeweek that The Bahamas has to “refresh” the 2003 Investment Funds Act “which provided for these innovative instruments which support private wealth management”.

“This commitment to continuous improvement has precipitated work being done to review and update the existing legislative and regulatory framework,” she told the online financial publisher.

The article points out that The Bahamas has already begun to sign on to numerous memoranda of understanding with European countries in order to keep The Bahamas’ funds compliant and competitive. But as the article points out, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) has also begun to explore “draft legislation to update the Investment Funds Act” to “help support institutional, as well as private wealth business”.

As Hedgeweek further explains, another mechanism for retooling The Bahamas’ Investment Funds Act, 2003 is the European Union’s (EU) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). According to the article, the AIFMD has been up and running for several years.

“The AIFMD also applies to non-EU AIFMs (alternative investment fund managers) that manage or market AIFs (alternative investment funds) in the EU,” McCartney told Hedgeweek.

“Thus, Bahamian investment managers to EU funds are subject to the impact and requirements of the AIFMD. The Securities Commission of The Bahamas has already engaged with and executed 27 memoranda of understanding with counterpart regulators in EU member states, in order to facilitate participation in their respective countries.”

The article explained that this country has seen a 25 percent rise in investment fund growth in the last four years, from 735 to 916.

 

 

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