November 18, 2019

Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Financial Services to be formed


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1396494590By Kathy Barrett From RJR News

Nassau, Bahamas: The third Caribbean Conference on the International Sector ended here on Wednesday with an agreement to establish a Caribbean Centre of Excellence for .

The University of the West Indies () and the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS) have agreed to work towards establishing the Centre, which, according to Ryan Pindler, Minister of Financial Services for the Bahamas, is necessary for the continued development of the financial services in the region.

“Based upon over three decades of experience in providing professional certification and expertise in the financial services sector, the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services is eminently placed to provide the level of international credibility to the centres offerings.

“This, in conjunction with the University of the West Indies, places the region in an extremely advantageous position to strengthen and advocate on behalf of a sector so critical to the region’s overall economic development,” he said.

UWI’s role

Dr. Don Marshall, Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the CaveHill campus of the UWI, said the regional tertiary institution has been committed to providing institutional and research support for the activities of international financial service centres.

He noted that for too long the field has been under researched.

“While the UWI has been serving the region well in relation to building up skills and so on, we have not paid enough attention, as a university, in producing sufficient knowledge that would assist in defending the sector, setting quality benchmarks and responding in a much more proactive way to the kinds of pressures that we face as we are asked to undertake a treadmill of ever changing regulations,” he said.

Pindler told a news conference that the accord had been endorsed by the conference.

“To be able to bring our talents to a regional level for human capital development, is certainly a paramount goal of the region through the leadership and direction of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, for me I am very proud to make this announcement today,” he said.

Government backing

Pindler told reporters that the Centre of Excellence had also received the backing of regional governments.

Donville Innis, Barbados’ Minister of Industry, International Business Commerce and Small Business Development, said the agreement symbolises a new level of commitment to facilitating growth in the sector.

“Our meetings have highlighted the importance of the financial services to our various economies and the need for us to work in a stronger collaborated manner. Many of these challenges that confront us emanate from outside the region, but we have a wonderful opportunity now to seize the opportunities that present themselves and to run forward with them.

“I’m sensing a renewed level of energy and a renewed level of energy and commitment to work across the to ensure that we fully understand the challenges,” Innis said.

Dr. Clarence Henry, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the Centre will allow all ’s to further develop their products

“For Antigua and Barbuda this marks a hallmark of something that has been long looked for, the establishment of a school of excellence – an institute that can provide enhance training in financial service disciplines.

“It will allow all IFC’s in the region to further develop their products and this bodes well for the economies of the individual territories,” he added.

Pindler said details relating to the funding of the center were now being fine tuned.

“We will look to a variety of sources. We have been speaking and have cooperation, we think, with the European Union. A planning committee will also be put in place as we continue to build on the work being done and hopefully we will be in a position in the very short term to finalise the plans,” he said.

The creation of a regional centre of excellence in financial services has been touted as the only way forward if the region is to face the challenges and volatility of the global world of financial services.

At the start of the conference on Monday, Pindler said the Caribbean must commit to developing a platform of education and training regionally as international financial centers, particularly those in the region are being forced to re-assess their positions, their products and service offerings.

PHOTO: Ryan Pindler -Minister of Financial Services for The Bahamas (centre)

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