When you hear someone say “Bahamas” the first thing that comes to mind is beautiful beaches and the roar of the ocean. While Bahamas is one of the key holiday destinations for people who are intent on soaking up some sun, there is more to the Bahamas than this.
Financial service in Bahamas
Bahamas has a very well developed and mature financial services structure and key in this is the provision of offshore banking and financial services. While there is a plethora of commercial banks in the Bahamas, the focus is on all aspects of financial services including insurance, mutual funds and credit unions as well. Much of the financial services provided and developed in order to turn Bahamas into a financial services hub are regulated by the Central Bank of The Bahamas. The focus is on the development of strong structures of economic management specifically targeted at individuals and organizations interested in offshore financial services.
The developments in Bahamas offshore financial services
Bahamas’ foray into offering financial services has been long standing. However, it is only in the last two decades that Bahamas has fine-tuned its regulations to support key legislative initiatives directed towards mutual funds and the trust business, and stock and securities exchanges. One of the primary initiatives has been to structure a world-class regulatory framework to avoid money-laundering and related financial criminal activities.
In the last decade, Bahamas has been emphasizing investment management that allows for the creation of structured banking products to facilitate access to international investment. With more than 80,000 international business companies existing on Bahamas, this system is clearly working for the benefit of investors. There are no corporate or income taxes in the Bahamas, and this only serves to enhance the interest in working with this offshore financial hub.
Tightly regulated, the latest trend is in the development of the securities industry. There are currently more than 700 funds available to the tune of $130 billion in assets. There are many opportunities to fast track investment fund licensing legitimately in Bahamas, and the Bahamian government and Central Bank have worked to create a comprehensive set of guidelines that cover all requirements for licensing. For investors keen to take advantage of evolving business and investment trends, this is key.
As one of the world’s top ten international banking centers, the Bahamas is also the base for more than 300 licensed banks representing 30 countries that are drawn to the Bahamas because of its skilled workforce, stable government and well regulated financial services structures. The success of the Bahamian system lies in the fact that the focus here is on asset protection and not tax avoidance, and that the Bahamas practices stringent banking secrecy policies.
The Bahamian government’s intent to keep everything above board, to regulate its offshore financial services and to provide international investors with a reliable and efficiency-driven platform to make financial decisions, set up new and evolving financial structures and to provide flexibility continues to allow Bahamas to be taken seriously on the international offshore financial services platform, and the impact of this cannot be underestimated.