The Bahamas Government has established a committee with representatives from all of the country’s financial regulatory institutions to consider options for consolidating regulatory agencies into one or more bodies.
The regulatory institutions on the committee include the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Office of the Registrar of Insurance Companies, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, Compliance Commission and the Inspector of Financial and Corporate Service Providers.
The heads of each of the regulatory institutions will serve on the committee, under the chairmanship of Senator the Hon. James Smith, Minister of State for Finance, Ministry of Finance.
Former Minister of Finance Sir William Allen and BFSB CEO and Executive Director Wendy Warren have also agreed to be involved in the work of the committee.
In his recent 2005/2006 Budget Address to the Senate, the Minister of State said consolidation will reduce the burden of unnecessary administration on the financial services sector in meeting regulatory requirements. *“Consequently, the task is really one of improving the efficiency and profitability of the financial services sector, thereby enhancing its competitiveness,”*he said.
The regulatory review process reflects the jurisdiction’s resolve to introduce beneficial changes to the sector. Following a detailed onsite review in 2002, the IMF noted *"Substantial progress towards the development of an effective regulatory regime is reflected not only in legislation but also in the structural and operational arrangements implemented. "*
The IMF also said *“The progress made by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Securities Commission has been impressive, due in large part to strong leadership and professional, dedicated staff.”*