Pinder: “Remember you have to fight to be a champion”

May 22, 2019 Download PDF
Pinder: “Remember you have to fight to be a champion”

Nassau, The Bahamas – Graham Thompson Partner Ryan Pinder was the kick-off speaker at this year’s STEP Caribbean Conference held in Nassau, The Bahamas. Speaking to delegates on the resilience of Caribbean IFCs, his presentation was titled “We are the Champions”.

In a very strong delivery, Ryan Pinder shared his perspective on the ability of IFCs to adapt and survive in the climate of change undergirded by global initiatives of the past decades, including fiscal transparency strategies. “We have witnessed a multi-faceted strategy of regulatory and compliance reforms designed to institutionalize the demise of fiscal privacy, not only in the individual private client market, but also in the corporate structuring market. CRS and FATCA as we all know dismantled the value proposition of our region, financial privacy.”

Increased fiscal transparency he added has also had the impact of “imposing cost and complexity of compliance that has the ability to force the private sector participants to retrench and consolidate, but also systematically dismantle the financial service industry as we know it for small, island based IFCs”.

He also addressed the “significant increase in global regulatory standards” which he characterised as “the systematic ratcheting up of the application of standards to countries like ours, without any regard to the ability of these large economy countries to meet the same standards”.

Pinder highlighted legislative responses by jurisdictions including The Bahamas, over the most recent 18 months, pointing out however that much of the legislation was not yet supported by regulations and guidance necessary to help drive private sector understanding of the legislative developments, and dispel marketplace uncertainty. Notably, he emphasised a need for more business re-defining legislation, “we have not passed enough legislation for new products, new innovation, and new opportunities for a value proposition”.

On the notion of survival, he stressed the need for greater understanding of taxation, and using that understanding to balance the obligations of compliance with the global needs of business. He noted, “we have to better understand taxation, which has not historically been an area of focus or knowledge for us.  We have to educate ourselves and be a compliant player in the cross boarder commercial business as well as the global approach to our private clients’ in their business operations.”

In his presentation, the Graham Thompson Partner also highlighted issues related to training, the ease of doing business, client service and industry expansion.

Pinder challenged conference delegates to deeper self-examination. “Look deep inside,” he said, “both in your industry, practice and country and try to define where your value is with respect to the global marketplace and new regulatory regime we find ourselves in.  If we cannot demonstrate a genuine, compliant value proposition to clients and markets” he continued, “then we don’t have a chance.”

His closing charge: “If we can define ourselves, be attractive to business, then we have a fighting chance.  If we can reshape our market, invest in our own knowledge and understanding, work collectively as private sector, government and regulators then the chance of survival, and hopefully success remains.”

Download a copy of the full presentation by Ryan Pinder at the STEP Caribbean Conference 2019 here, “We are The Champions”.