More than 200 Bahamians received financial certifications and designations at the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS) 37th annual awards ceremony.
Ryan Pinder, minister of financial services, said: “We look to create this regional Centre of Excellence of Financial Services. We will educate individuals from the entire Caribbean region, who will benefit from the specifically-designed professional development programmes and certifications that will enable them to build the industry throughout the whole region, making us in this hemisphere a stronger financial centre with the support of those around us.”
Tanya McCartney, BIFS president, said the Institute was well-positioned to extend its reach beyond the Bahamas’ borders.
“We are excited about the prospects for the growth and sustainability of our course offering and target market,” she added.
“We are certain that a skilled labour force will always be in demand. You are therefore armed with knowledge that will allow you to make a meaningful contribution to financial services.”
Kim Bodie, BIFS’ executive director, said special emphasis was being placed on training and re-training of industry personnel in an effort to maintain a sustainable pool of talented and highly-qualified professionals.
While The Institute is not a degree-granting organisation, Ms Bodie said: “We recognise that we have a responsibility to encourage continuing education, and have engaged in partnerships with the College of The Bahamas and other external universities and Institutes to facilitate the transition of students to continue their studies at undergraduate and graduate levels.”
The Institute has also conducted numerous specialised professional development and certification programmes.
Since its establishment in 1974, the Institute has provided 733 financial professionals with the opportunity to hold the Associate of the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (ABIFS) diploma.
This year, seven professionals were highlighted as ‘Best Students’ in their respective categories. They include: Londena Bethell, Banking Certificate; Lorrain Goncalces, Prelimiary Banking Certificate; Alyssa Gibson, AIBFS; Dwayne Swaby, Leadership Essentials; Thea Munroe, Certified Credit Professional; Jamere McIntosh, Certified Financial Planner; and Nicolette Duncanson, ICA Diploma.