Categorized | National News

Unemployment Rises in Offshore Banking

Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan said yesterday that the statistics from the Labour Force Survey are concerning and the increase in the unemployment of persons in the sector is reflective of several factors namely the downsizing, closure and amalgamation of certain commercial and offshore banks and banking services.

The recent Labour Force Survey revealed a 36 per cent increase in unemployment for the financial services sector.

According to Minister Strachan, “It is obviously a concern for the sector to have that amount of job losses.”

“Basically, the statistical information gave us an actual data for what we had seen as a trend after the closure of several international banks and Canadian banks after they had actually withdrawn some of the banks and banking services from the Family Islands after they amalgamate some of the banks here. In terms of the contraction of the industry and even in offshore banking, we’ve seen change within the last few months,” Minister Strachan said.

The minister said over the next few months, the ministry is seeking to regain jobs lost to the sector in recent times and create new employment.

She said the ministry will be looking towards new markets and new products both domestic and international and focusing more on wealth management.

“The statistics that came out actually brought to light the impact of it and it is of concern to us,” she said.

“The Ministry of Financial Services has been working diligently over the last several months toward the creation of new products as well as taking advantage of new markets. As you know, we are heavily into the Latin-American and are currently marketing a new product with them. We have been traveling to Brazil back and forth and are looking to expand offerings into the Mexican market and so we have had meetings with the tax authorities to see where we stand.”

The minster said it is important that we realize that in order to have a better Bahamas, we must build a stronger Bahamas, and that involves all Bahamians including our young people who are constantly searching for job opportunities.

“We know that we have 36 per cent of people in the financial services industry that we have to assist,” she said.

“We have to now see how much of that we can coop. We have to now also build on that because as the prime minister said we have a whole group of graduates that are looking to be employed. After they spend all that money on educating themselves, they need to get jobs in the sector where they can actually see some personal growth and development. We are well aware of the work we have to do and as the minister of financial services I can assure you that I’m doing my utmost best to do my part in this situation.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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