Categorized | National News

Financial Sector Reacts To Immigration Roundup

A day after a top offshore bank official was detained in an immigration roundup, top executives from for across the country’s financial sector met with Prime Minister Perry Christie and other high-ranking government officials to voice their concerns.

On Tuesday, immigration officials rounded up close to 200 illegal immigrants, including UBS Bahamas Director Emmanuel Fiaux.

Mr. Fiaux was stopped during a roadblock and asked to produce proof of legal residency.

On Wednesday, executives of the Association of International Banks & Trust Companies (AIBT) and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) met with Mr. Christie, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Immigration, Philip Davis, and Financial Services Minister, Ryan Pinder, to discuss various issues around immigration and labour in light of the recent immigration round up.

In the meeting, AIBT and BFSB executives told the prime minister that they “understood and respected” the government’s ongoing efforts to enforce the country’s immigration laws, but they believe that it is “critically important that a more calibrated and sensitive approach be taken, so as to avoid unnecessary detentions of individuals duly authorised to live and work in The Bahamas.”

“It was further stressed that we must work together to ensure that no harm is inflicted on The Bahamas’ reputation as a welcoming nation,” a statement from the executives said yesterday.

“The prime minister, deputy prime minister and minister of financial services were receptive of the concerns expressed and reinforced their understanding of the value of the financial services industry to the country.”
“AIBT and BFSB will continue our ongoing dialogue with government and seek to build upon our long-standing constructive working relationships.”

In the end, Prime Minister Christie invited the executives to a follow-up meeting with the respective portfolio ministers.
“We look forward to engaging the government in a broader dialogue around issues of labour, immigration and economic development. All stakeholders understand fully that access to financial and human capital are vital, and we must explore meaningful reform to existing regulations and procedures which will encourage the long-term growth and development of the nation.”

“We invite AIBT and BFSB members companies to contact us directly with any questions and/or concerns about these matters so that we can work to provide clarity and support to the industry around these issues.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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