The financial services industry in The Bahamas has experienced continuous evolution through both steady and tumultuous waters over the past 20 years, allowing us to remain globally competitive.

While 2020 remains an unprecedented year for many industries, for local financial and corporate service providers in The Bahamas the year brought in a host of new and amended regulations, which carry the potential to transform the very landscape of the industry. Amended legislation like the Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, 2020, establishes a clear legal and regulatory ​framework installing the Securities Commission of The Bahamas as a regulatory authority; while the new Banks and Trust Companies Regulations Act, 2020 consolidates and modernizes the law regulating local banks and trust companies in with an enhancement of governing powers for The Central Bank of The Bahamas. 

Following The Opportunities, Managing The Risks 

Beyond regulating the industry, the introduction of these new measures presents gateway opportunities for both financial and non-service providers to modernize and expand their services. Notably is the introduction of the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges Act, 2020 (DARE Act), which has established an exciting legal regulatory foundation for the registration of digital token exchanges and the provision of services related to them, including the creation, issuance or sale of digital tokens and other digital assets. In an unprecedented move for the industry, the DARE Act creates a new lane for financial services activity in The Bahamas, with the potential to create new businesses and provide opportunities for existing financial and corporate services providers to adapt to the digital marketplace.  It also lays the groundwork for possible partnerships with international Fintech operators seeking to establish operations or work with firms in The Bahamas. 

While the DARE Act ushers in a wealth of opportunities for FINTECH in The Bahamas and corporate service providers as licensed operators in a newly-regulated industry, providers must take into consideration the associated risks and the requirements that accompany the new legislation. How are established firms new to Fintech adjusting their operations to remain compliant? Are newer firms abreast of the requirements under the act surrounding reporting and when to seek approval from the Securities Commission of The Bahamas on expanding service offerings? Who is managing the compliance risks associated with forging ahead in a newly-regulated financial sector? Most importantly are financial and corporate service providers fully aware of the powers of the newly-empowered regulatory bodies?

We ask these questions as all service providers will need to ask of themselves. More than 300 licensed corporate and financial service providers stand to be impacted by these new pieces of legislation. As an important sector of the financial services industry, trust and estate practitioners must arm themselves with the ability to remain flexible and future-focused while maintaining the founding principles of compliance, governance and regulation on which the industry was built. Partnering with a risk and compliance consultant helps alleviate the burden of what could be a huge undertaking for small firms or family offices. 

An Expert Business Solutions Partner You Can Rely On

As a personalized corporate and financial solutions consulting firm, Maran Global works to arm our clients with the modernized services needed to navigate changes within the financial sector and future-proof their businesses. Our governance, risk and compliance consulting services are specifically designed for the monitoring of new legislation and preparing service providers to adapt. We have helped local and global clientele ebb and flow with the changes the industry may face year over year. Service providers must adapt to remain competitive in an evolving industry and connecting with the right consulting professional team helps providers maintain integrity while doing so. 

Founded on over 30 years of financial and corporate service experience, Maran Global hinges its practices on integrity and professionalism and is a provider of independent professional services within the financial services sector both locally and internationally. 

Antoinette Russell ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Antoinette Russell MBA, FICA, TEP is an award-winning veteran of the financial services industry in The Bahamas. Well respected for her 30+ years of professional contributions to various corporate and financial boards and institutions, Antoinette founded Maran Global out of the continuing need to further the growth of sound and ethical business practices in The Bahamas financial industry. Maran Global’s sharp edge of expertise and experience has been refined by Antoinette’s exposure to international markets and meeting client requirements.