By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
REVISED legislation will leave the Bahamas "at the top of the pack" among Caribbean financial centres when it comes to private wealth management, the Attorney General told Tribune Business yesterday.
Lauding amendments to the Trustee Act, Purpose Trust Act and Rule Against Perpetuities Act, together with the new Executive Entities Bill 2011, John Delaney said they were "all designed to improve" the Bahamas' competitive position in its core private wealth management niche, especially when it came to estate planning.
All passed through the Senate, with the Government taking advantage of a little-known constitutional provision that allows legislation to be introduced first in the Senate, as well as the House.
"The financial services industry expects that this will help to consolidate this jurisdiction's place as a leading platform for wealth management.
"It will cause the country to have a well-regulated, progressive trust regime for clients' estate planning purposes," Mr Delaney told Tribune Business.
Adding that the private sector was "very keen to see this progressive stuff happen", he added: "I think it will leave us contending and, especially in relation to private wealth management, it will leave us at the top of the pack, certainly among Caribbean international financial centres, and I'm including Bermuda in that term."
Mr Delaney said he was hoping the legislation would "clear the lower House" as rapidly as possible.
Also passed by the Senate was a basket of legislation implementing the requirement that International Business Companies (IBCs), segregated accounts companies, investment funds, exempted limited partnerships, Foundations, partnerships and purpose trust keep accounting records for a minimum of five years, bringing them into line with G-20/Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) requirements.
Other legislation involved amendments to deal with "inconsistencies" between legislation ratifying the Bahamas' TIEA with the US, and the International Tax Co-Operation Act dealing with all the other TIEAs signed by this nation.