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Bahamas Enhances Business Environment

Friday, March 5, 2010

In his mid-year budget presentation to Parliament, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham addressed improving the business environment, touching specifically on the streamlining of the regulation of the financial services sector.

Addressing parliament, Ingraham said: "The government is moving to streamline the regulation of non-bank financial services. Specifically, we intend to merge the Securities Commission, the Office of the Registrar of Insurance Companies and the Compliance Commission to create a new Financial Services Authority. The goal is to reduce burdens on the regulated financial sector by simplifying authorization requirements and data reporting requirements. As well, efficiency gains will be achieved by ensuring joint operations in terms of on-site inspections, authorizations, information technology and human resources."

The new Authority will be fully operational during the course of 2010, Ingraham disclosed.

On “Enhancing the Competitiveness of Financial Services,” the Prime Minister noted progress made towards the removal from the OECD grey-list of territories that had not yet substantially implemented the internationally agreed standard on tax information exchange, of which the Bahamas was deemed to be one. Following last April's G20 summit, where the list was drafted, territories that were placed on the grey have been given until March 31, 2010 to substantially implement the international standards in tax information exchange, by signing twelve bilateral agreements with third countries to increase tax transparency. "On April 2, 2009, the Bahamas had one agreement executed with the US. We have moved aggressively to meet the requirement. At present, there are 11 signed agreements and, by the end of March, we will have executed 19 agreements to ensure our exit from the grey list," Ingraham said.

Parliamentarians were also advised of planned changes to the Investment Funds Act to remove restrictions that impact negatively on Bahamian investment managers and advisors and the competitiveness of the Bahamas as a financial centre.

Additionally, Ingraham added that the government is "taking a number of steps to strengthen the Bahamian business environment." Specifically, proposed amendments to the Business Licence Act will soon be introduced to simplify the legal and regulatory requirements to operate a business. "We also propose to simplify the fee structure for business licences," he explained.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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