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Bahamas Seeking To Upskill Financial Services Workforce

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
23 September, 2015

The Bahamas Minister for Financial Services has emphasized the importance of the financial services industry for the territory, urging the industry to build on the expertise of local personnel.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services's (BIFS's) Regional Conference, Hope Strachan, the Minister of Financial Services, said it is incumbent for professionals to remain relevant in an ever-changing environment. The Minister said that, in the face of a changing environment for financial services, professionals must recognize it cannot be "business as usual."

Strachan said: "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the financial services industry to the economy of the Bahamas. The sector accounts directly for 15 percent of the GDP of our country, second only to the tourism sector in terms of economic impact. It also employs the largest segment of highly skilled workers and offers a diverse range of job opportunities and professions for individuals who desire to pursue a career in the financial services."

"The substance or basis for a career or profession in the financial services industry is a quality education. It might well sound cliché but education is the key. Apart from the obvious need to ensure that we make the most of our high school education, I believe that it is fair to say that tertiary education is critical to a successful career or profession in financial services. It is important not only to your career but also to your own personal development."

Strachan congratulated BIFS for its contributions to the continued professional education of persons in financial services, taking note of the wide range of courses offered, including those relating to compliance and anti-money laundering, trusts and estate planning, risk management, and executive leadership.

She said: "BIFS has partnered with a number of leading international educational institutions to offer these courses. I further applaud BIFS for establishing the G-12 program for students entering grade 12 to follow a seven-month, four-module program to study business calculations and computers, economics, financial institutions, and ethics. The program also affords them the opportunity to visit a financial institution to explore and learn about its operations. I note that over 100 students have graduated since the program was launched in 2008."

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services(BIFS) Regional Conference, the Minister for Financial Services emphasized the importance financial services to the territory and urged the industry to pursue education and training to remain competitive.

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