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Signs of trouble in offshore banking

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Signs of trouble in offshore banking

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NASSAU – An increasing number of offshore banks are laying off staff, charged a local financial advisor, asserting The Bahamas will be in trouble if significant growth is not seen in the industry.
“More and more banks are downsizing,” said Jerome Gomez, chief executive officer of Global Corporation Management. “They don’t make the news because they are downsizing one here, five there.
“Those persons are going to find it hard to get similar jobs. Those are high-paying jobs that also put you in the world, dealing with international clients.”
Gomez said the layoffs were occurring because the financial services industry had experienced very little growth over the past ten years. He added that new banks had not been coming to The Bahamas, and the number of people interested in conducting business through the nation’s offshore sector has dwindled.  
Instead, tourism seems to be the primary focus.
Gomez asserted that while financial services would never employ more people than tourism, there needs to be as great an effort to promote the industry.
“Unless we put a real focused effort into it, we’re going to lose that business over time,” he said.  “We really have to look at revamping [the industry]. . . .  One of the ways is going back to a ministry of financial services or a department for it.”
His suggestion comes as Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Zhivargo Laing said a department, as opposed to a specific ministry, might be the best way forward. (Nassau Guardian)