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The Bahamian economy is showing signs of life in the first quarter, but it could take some time before that sentiment is felt on the ground.
According to the latest report from The Central Bank of The Bahamas, tourism numbers are showing encouraging gains.
The creative work performed on a private banking brochure for Bank of the Bahamas International (BOB) has received international accolades from the American and Caribbean Advertising Federations. The agencies behind the design - Diane Phillips & Associates in conjunction with marketing company Electric Villages - took home a 2011 Silver ADDY Award at this year's advertising competition.
"I think the true winner of an award like this is our client," said Diane Phillips. "We're proud to have been a part of this success and to be recognised for our work at this level, which speaks to the talent and dedication of our team. DP&A would also like to thank BOB for giving us the ...
"Home Sweet Home", an art exhibition featuring watercolor paintings and architectural models by Nastassia Pratt, opened Thursday, June 20, 6-8 p.m. at Popopstudios. For more information, visitwww.popopstudios.com or call 322-7834 or 552-0412.
The Bahamas Sailing Association presents "Sea, Wind, Sail", an art exhibition to aid the Bahamas National Sailing School, on Saturday, June 22, 5-8 p.m. at Palm Cay. Featured artists include Thierry Lamare, Malcolm Ray, Toby Lunn, Jonathon Bethel, John Cox and K. Smith. Tickets are $10. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Life on my island", original patterns and paintings by Fash|Art 2012 Jackson Burnside III Visual Artist Competition Winner Attila Feszt, continues at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery. For more information, visit http://www.doongalik.com/.
"Design", new works by Lemero Wright, continues at The Ladder Gallery, New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/TheLadderGallery or telephone 327-1660. This exhibition will be open until June 28.
"Beg, Borrow, Steal", new work by Bahama Woodstarr, continues at Liquid Courage Gallery in Palmdale.
"Form Versus Function: Contemporary Art Quilts", featuring five artists and quilters, opened Monday, May 20 at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. This exhibition closes on Tuesday, June 25. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"Artisan", featuring work by Jan Elliott, Jenny Guy and Muck Guy, continues at the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery. Admission is free.
"The John Beadle Project", new work by John Beadle, continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
"Master Artists of The Bahamas" continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Featured Artists are John Beadle, Jackson Burnside, Stan Burnside, John Cox, Amos Ferguson, Kendal Hanna, Brent Malone, Eddie Minnis, Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith and Max Taylor. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"SINGLESEX", an all-female portrait show depicting only female subjects, continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. NAGB Curator John Cox says it is meant to stand in dialogue with the "Master Artists of The Bahamas" exhibition (later this year), which has no female representation. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
The Permanent Exhibition of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, displaying pieces under the theme "The Bahamian Landscape", continues this week at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Gallery hours: Tue. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4 p.m. Admission $5 adults; $3 students/seniors; children under 12 are free. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
The Meah Foundation's Music Festival takes place Saturday, June 22, 7-11 p.m. at Van Breugel's Restaurant on Charlotte Street. The event is expected to feature the bands Quartz, John Christie and the Floating Boats and the Rum Dums. The event is also in support of the Down Syndrome Association of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Humane Society. Tickets available at Van Breugel's, The Meridian School, Windermere, Traditions, New Providence Community Center and Liquid Nutrition. For more information, visit www.themeahfoundation.org.
Workshops and Summer Camps "Remembering Ourselves: Healing Our Colonial Legacy", a Gaulin Project retreat presented by Helen Klonaris, takes place Saturday, June 29 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Participants can expect creative writing to explore their cultural and personal stories about our shared colonial legacy; silent contemplation to tap into challenging feelings; active imagining to touch into their wisdom; a safe and compassionate space in which to explore issues of race, colonization and community and sacred witness. To register, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. The suggested retreat fee is $75; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The retreat will take place in Nassau at a location to be announced shortly!
Bahamas Music Conservatory will hold its Summer Music Camp from July 1 to July 26 at the Duke Errol Strachan Music Centre on Village Road. The camp is geared toward young musicians ages eight to 18 and offered instruments are piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba, viola, cello and double bass. The cost of the workshop is $600. For more information, visitwww.bahamasmusicconservatory.com.
Bahamas FilmInvest International will host the 5th Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase from Monday, June 3 to Tuesday, June 25 at Galleria Cinemas. This year's showcase will feature 29 feature films, documentaries, animations and children's films, with a special tribute being paid to the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence.
Islandz, having acquired Downtown Art Tours, offers its Islandz Gallery Hop tours, examining art spaces downtown on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 per person for the two-hour tour. For more information or to book tickets, call 601-7592 or visit Islandz online at www.islandzmarket.com.
Tru Bahamian food tours offers a "Bites of Nassau" food tasting and cultural walking tour to connect people with authentic local food items, stories and traditions behind the foods and the Bahamians that prepare and preserve them, through a hands-on, interactive, educational tour and culinary adventure. Tickets are $69 per person, $49 for children under 12. Tours are everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at the British Colonial Hilton and ending at Tortuga Rum Cake Company. For more information, visit www.trubahamianfoodtours.com.
Call for works
Scotiabank invites all amateur photographers to participate in its Everything Bahamian Calendar Photo Contest. They are looking for candid representations of "Everything Bahamian" - outstanding and captivating, original digital images depicting the diversity, distinction and beauty of The Bahama Islands, its natural resources and the traditions, lifestyle and culture of its people. Images may be taken anywhere in The Bahamas. The official contest rules and entry forms are available at all Scotiabank locations or may be downloaded from www.bahamas.scotiabank.com/photocontest. Entry deadline is Friday, July 19.
The 10th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival invites filmmakers from around the worls to submit their narratives, documentaries, worls cinema, short films, animation and family films. This year's festival takes place December 5-13 on New Providence and Eleuthera. The deadline is July 17. For more information, visit http://bintlfilmfest.com.
The 30th Annual Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Exhibition invites entries for its Open Category under the theme "The Independents", in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence, which is being celebrated this year. The objectives of the competition are to identify, recognize and encourage Bahamian visual artists. To qualify, participants must be citizens of The Bahamas, aged 18 or older (as of October 1, 2013) and not registered in secondary school. The Open/Senior Category Competition and Exhibition component will be held from Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, November 1. Artists under 30 years are especially encouraged to embrace this opportunity of the theme of "The Independents" as a challenge in terms of material and/or the role and responsibilities of independent thinking in art in The Bahamas, as well as, thinking of the larger political symbolism of independence of the country.
An old favorite in the Bahamian marketplace has been given a modern spin.
Ezminutes.com, a business recently launched by Nekia Brice, is tapping into the lesser-known e-commerce sector. And so far, the approach appears to be working. To date, more than 10,000 phone cards have been sold online as a result of Ezminutes.com.
Brice told Guardian Business that Ezminutes.com allows anyone from anywhere in the world to instantly purchase a phone card, using any internet-enabled device.
She said the company has already begun to lead the way in The Bahamas' e-commerce industry.
"We are at the dawn of the internet age here, in order for businesses to be able to compete in the future they would need to incorporate internet technology or be left with no business at all," according to Brice.
"With The Bahamas being an offshore jurisdiction for financial services, it is prime for an e-commerce boom in the near future. We want businesses to know that yes it is possible to obtain a Bahamian merchant account for accepting credit cards online. Once setup, the funds are cleared in a local bank account.
"Ezminutes.com is a Bahamian online small business which operates solely through e-commerce. We have proven it is possible and we hope to inspire others."
She pointed out that Ezminutes.com is optimized for easy navigation and few clicks from any mobile device, tablet or computer. Customers receive the pins on the website instantly once a purchase is complete. Purchases can be made using any visa or master, debit or credit card.
Brice revealed to Guardian Business due to the company's local success, plans are underway to expand to other countries. She hopes to launch a similar service in the UK by the end of 2012.
Once completed, customers will also be able to purchase UK top up vouchers for all major mobile providers, including T-Mobile, Vodafone, 02, Orange and Three.
Brice said this service will primarily target customers in the UK and anyone outside of the UK who wishes to keep their UK prepaid mobile number active.
Ezminutes.com is a product of Websoft E-Business Solutions, which provides consulting and development of online businesses in The Bahamas and throughout the world.
Brice's success comes as manager of e-commerce at MWF Group Bahamas, Damien Forsythe, recently told Guardian Business that the country is still missing out on a golden opportunity to cash in on the e-commerce sector.
Forsythe encouraged banks to provide more merchant services, as it would not only help local businesses grow but also help the overall economy by embracing this sector.
"I don't know if they are aware of the potential of those types of services," he said.
"They have really held back local businesses that want to sell online domestically and internationally. I think the banks are not thinking about it and have not been forced to think about it," he shared.
Bank of The Bahamas announced in February that it plans to launch a formal e-commerce program in the coming months.
Nassau, Bahamas - T. Baswell Donaldson, Chairman of Commonwealth Bank
(right) will be the special guest on this week's edition
of You and Your Money, airing Monday at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on ZNS TV
13. As Mr. Donaldson prepares to retire from the post of Chairman of the
Bank he will talk about the highlights of his 15 year tenure, the major successes
and accomplishments of Commonwealth Bank as well as its future possibilities.
You and Your Money is hosted by Jeffrey Lloyd
Retired top banker Al Jarrett is challenging a recent Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBB) assertion that inflationary pressure on the economy has been "benign", charging that current data tells a different story.
Jarrett is saying the CBB must be relying on stale data, as the most recent numbers out of the Department of Statistics are painting a more troubling picture of the year-on-year growth in consumer prices. The CBB's governor, Wendy Craigg, was reported to have said that inflation was not a concern for the Bahamian economy, estimating it would come in at just over two percent for the year.
"I'm using the current trend and inflation is not benign if it increased to 3.5 percent this year," Jarrett said. "[The Governor's] number of 2.1 percent is way off the mark. I do see inflation as a concern."
In the CBB's August 2011 MEFD, inflationary pressures were described as being "relatively benign, although impacted by the recent firming in global oil prices".
The report cited inflation for the twelve months to June firmed by 0.9 points to 2.1 percent.
According to the Department of Statistics, the annual percentage change in The Bahamas all items index was 3.9 percent for July. For January through July, the rate has increased each month, the percentage growth coming in at 2.1, 2.4, 3.0, 3.1, 3.5 and 3.6 for consecutive months from January through June.
Inflation is on an upward trajectory with nothing likely to alter its direction before the end of the year, according to Jarrett. Higher oil and gas prices, along with increases in margin allowances to petroleum retailers, will tend to worsen the true impact of inflation on the economy, according to Jarrett.
Data for the retired banker's analysis covers up to September, he said. The $0.10 and $0.15 increases in gas and diesel to retail distributors did not come into effect until this month.
The impact of that inflation on the budget ended June 2011 will be to "wipe-out" any growth there, he said, along with current growth projections of one to two percent. For economists and statisticians, inflation is used to adjust the performance of gross domestic product from one period to the next. It gives a context to understand how the economy is really expanding or contracting. In the case of a salary, as the cost of living rises, an individual gets less bang for his buck. The same principle applies on a national level.
But Jarrett was complimentary of what he described as a more "realistic and somber" position taken by Craigg, as reported last week.
He agreed with the negative implications for GDP growth drawn from the weak U.S. economy, itself struggling to achieve a meaningful recovery and substantial job growth. Likewise, he agreed that the strong foreign currency reserves held by the Central Bank heading into the Christmas Season signaled poor consumer demand. Merchants are not triggering major draws on the foreign currency position because consumers are not spending, due in large part to high unemployment, he said.
The former Bahamas Electricity Corporation chairman, however, was more pessimistic about when there would be a broad economic and employment recovery than Craigg's reported estimate of up to two years.
"There is nothing in the economy now that is going to cause any turn-around in two years," Jarrett said.
He estimated two-and-a-half years, or sometime in early 2014, is a more realistic timeframe for broad recovery.
A serious challenge to any meaningful interpretation of the data has been the absence of key reports and information, however. In the case of tourism arrival data, for example, Jarrett said he was "extremely disappointed" that they have not been made available for any period since April 2011.
Guardian Business has been pursuing those numbers for several weeks. On Thursday afternoon, a Ministry of Tourism manager told Guardian Business they would likely be released late today for the period up to the end of August.
Similarly, Jarrett said he was still waiting for the results of the first quarter of the government's fiscal year to do some "hard analysis". He said he expected that the lack of both sets of data suggested poor tourism sector and government budgetary performance.
The data, whenever released, will be the judge of that, but Jarrett said the key was that the Bahamian public has been deprived of the benefit of that information. He commended the Department of Statistics for their 'openness and cooperativeness' in supplying data.
Thursday 27th March 2014 10:00 AM
The Central Bank of The Bahamas presents The Annual Counterfeit Banknote Detection Seminar. When: Thursday, March 27, 2014 Where: The Central Bank of The Bahamas Training Room, Market Street and Trinity Place Entrance Time: 10:00am-11:00am (for Bankers and law enforcement) 12:00 noon-1:00pm (for general public) Apply by: March 25, 2014 As space is limited we wish to urge persons to confirm their attendance by contacting representative of the Banking Department of The Central Bank of The Bahamas at telephone numbers: 302-2629/302-2622.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
MORE than 11 years after Mohammed Harajchi's Suisse Security Bank & Trust was put under court supervision, its depositors and creditors have yet to recover a single cent, and are still staring at a collective $19.217 million "potential loss".
The main reason they continue to face such a sizeable 'black hole' is because the liquidator has still been unable to recover the $17.717 million that the Harajchis and the bank's management team spirited out of the Bahamas in the days immediately following the Central Bank of the Bahamas' decision to suspend, then revoke, Suisse Security's licence.
Raymond Winder, managing p ...
Two financial experts said The Bahamas won't be impacted by Cyprus' financial crisis, but the country should monitor the situation closely. Eurozone finance ministers agreed yesterday to a $10 billion euro bailout for Cyprus in an effort to prevent the collapse of its banking system and keep the country in the...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Bank of the Bahamas International's shares are trading below the institution's book value, its managing director said yesterday, explaining that it had become the fifth public company to launch a share buy back plan in a bid to counter an "immature stock market" and inadequate pricing structure.
Paul McWeeney told Tribune Business that the initiative, which starts today and will see the bank repurchase up to 100,000 of its common shares over a six-month period, was intended to both support its share price and provide liquidity to small retail investors seeking to exit their investment for "social reasons".
Telling this newspa ...
Nassau, Bahamas - Colina
Insurance Limited is pleased once again to welcome Scotiabank as a Presidential
Partner in the 19th Annual Red Ribbon Ball in support of The Bahamas AIDS
Senior Manager, Marketing, Product and Public Relations and Jim Wilson, Vice
President Corporate & Commercial Banking at Scotia recently met with
members of the Red Ribbon Ball Committee to present them with the bank's
Scotiabank Bahamas recently joined hands with The Bahamas AIDS Foundation
in hosting the 2011 Red Ribbon Ball. Hosted under the theme, 'I am Accepted,'
the Ball is the Foundation's single largest fund-raising initiative, now
in its seventeenth year. An annual supporter of the AIDS Foundation, Scotiabank
was an Executive Corporate Partner to this year's gala.
The Bank is a
dedicated partner to worldwide efforts at the local, regional, national
and international levels to reduce new HIV infections and minimize the
impact of the illness...
Proposed changes to the management of large exposures are on the way, with the Central Bank of The Bahamas focusing on staying aligned with global standards.
A review of the proposed changes has already been completed, and the Central Bank intends to issue revised guidelines. One of the suggested modifications is the provision of a level of responsibility for the boards of directors of banks.
"The purpose of the review was to strengthen and clarify the guidance, where necessary, and to ensure that The Bahamas' rules remain consistent with international best practices in this area," according to a draft of the proposed changes. "The revisions to the guidelines primarily seek to ...
The Central Bank of the Bahamas' governor yesterday dismissed speculation that the timing of yesterday's 75 basis point Discount Rate reduction was linked in any way to the upcoming general election, adding that the move would make it easier for more Bahamians to access credit and "support the economic recovery".
Wendy Craigg said she foresees the lowering of the Discount Rate by the Central Bank - the interest rate applied to money lent by the Central Bank to domestic banks it licenses - will create a lending environment providing more opportunities for Bahamian-owned businesses to "be a part of the spin-off" ef ...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Bahamas Motor Dealers Association (BMDA) members yesterday said they were hopeful that improved buyer traffic and quality at the weekend's Car Show will translate into increased sales in the coming weeks, with commercial banks seemingly "more aggressive" on writing loans.
Rick Lowe, operations manager at Nassau Motor Company (NMC), the Honda, Chevrolet and Cadillac dealer, told Tribune Business: "Our sales consultants felt that the buyers, or the people interested in buying, were there, and it remains to be seen how it plays out. They felt more positive this year than last.
"The banks were more aggressive, so hopefully we'll ...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The chairman of recently renamed RND Holdings yesterday said the company was banking net cash flow of $25,000 per month after restructuring its debt and finding a new majority partner, adding that it might generate "a little more" than last year's $348,867 net income in 2011.
Speaking ahead of the-now Colina Real Estate Fund's annual general meeting (AGM) on October 26, Jerome Fitzgerald said that by bringing in Colina as majority shareholder and having them pay out the $2.904 million debt owed to FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas), the company had completed its "turnaround from a cash flow standpoint".
He added that ...
Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited Managing Director Kevin Teslyk said The Bahamas needs its medium to long-term revenues to "exceed and outpace" expenses in order to ensure sustainability.
The banking executive's comments to Guardian Business come after Moody's Investors Service pointed out in one of its economic outlooks that three bond restructurings totaling $9.7 billion in the Caribbean this year are failing to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults.
"I think the overarching view is that whether you are an individual consumer, small business, corporate commercial enterprise or a sovereign government one needs to live within your means. You need to ensure sustainability in the medium to long-term and revenues exceed and outpace expenses," he said.
According to the Moody's report, the average debt for a Caribbean nation compared to the size of its economy stands at 70 percent.
Teslyk noted The Bahamas' debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios are quite a bit less at approximately 50 percent and is mostly local currency debt as opposed to foreign currency debt, unlike other countries in the region.
"It is nowhere near the same level. Most of the government's debt, between 77 and 80 percent, is in fact local currency debt so that we don't have the same implications as you have in making payments to foreign investors and the potential for foreign defaults. The Bahamas and some other countries in our region like Barbados for example have relatively small foreign currency debt loads," he explained.
"There are other countries in the region that have debt to GDPs that are already in excess of 100 percent. Jamaica was listed as being one of those as well as Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda."
He also pointed out to Guardian Business that the country incurred hefty expenses within the last five years due to major infrastructure works taking place mostly in New Providence.
"You are always going to have those times of growth and redevelopment or investment in infrastructure, which has very much been the case in The Bahamas with the airport development, the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP), the Baha Mar project amongst others which are large, one-time investments that will always mean that the expenses in the short-term are going to outpace the revenues. Those have to be the exceptions and not the norms," Teslyk revealed.
He further added that The Bahamas' market is very liquid, as there has been more of an emphasis on saving than spending.
"The local industry here in The Bahamas as everyone knows is very liquid. There's lots of surplus liquidity with businesses among the banks. We're in savings mode as opposed to spending mode so those liquidity levels are likely going to increase so in terms of funds to finance government's ongoing business, they've got the ability to rather easily finance debt loads through the local marketplace, which doesn't fit the same degree of challenges or strain on a country as foreign debt loads do," Teslyk confirmed.
PRIME Minister Perry Christie's bid to assist embattled tax consultant Ishmael Lightbourne has not threatened the integrity of the banking industry, according to RBC Bahamas managing director Nathaniel Beneby...
Nassau, New Providence - Bank of The Bahamas Trust and Private Banking will host an information-packed breakfast September 13 to discuss a host of financial
services including private banking rights and benefits, pension fund
arrangements and standard trusts as well as those specially created for
the Bahamian corporate and individual market.
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
BAHAMAS-based web shop boss, Craig Flowers, along with BISX-listed Bank of the Bahamas International, were both separately approached to rescue a bust Turks & Caicos bank that required a $27 million injection to recapitalise it, Tribune Business can reveal.
The involvement of Mr Flowers, a well-known businessman and head of the FML Group of Companies, was disclosed in a report to the Turks & Caicos Islands' courts by the Bahamian liquidators for TCI Bank, Anthony Kikivarakis and Mark Munnings, the Deloitte & Touche (Bahamas) partners and accountants.
The report, obtained by Tribune Business, said that "the following persons/entities we ...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Bahamian commercial banks want to see another "two to three months" similar to February 2011's $67.2 million loan arrears reduction to develop a "strong trend", Tribune Business was told yesterday, as total credit past due dropped to $1.131 billion.
Barry Malcolm, Scotiabank (Bahamas) managing director, commenting on Central Bank of the Bahamas data that showed the total percentage of past due loans had dropped from 19.1 per cent of total credit outstanding (some $6.461 billion) to 18.2 per cent, said the "welcome" drop had resulted from an improved economy and intensive work with borrowers to restructure loans.
A banking fee introduction of 1 percent on cash deposits in excess of $10,000 made over-the-counter has at least one gas station retailer crying foul and calling for government intervention.
Effective January 1, 2011, RBC Royal Bank of Canada (Bahamas) Ltd. implemented the fee hike. Other fee hikes include a charge of 1 percent for the exchange of coins over $100 in value (for non-RBC customers), and a charge of $1 for deposits per transaction for over-the-counter withdrawals and debits on savings accounts. The gas station retailer, who wished to remain anonymous, told Guardian Business that the fee hike would impact many local gas station businesses as well as small businesses.
“If they h ...
* Private label credit cards in the works at Bank of Bahamas
* Mario's Bowling and three other locations targeted for off-site ABMs
* Looking to 'redesign liabilities', plus alter equity 'composition' in next 24 months
File Pic of Paul McWeeney
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Bank of the Bahamas International yesterday said it was "building a new business model" focusing on high transaction volume areas, its managing director describing this as "best suited" to counter reduced earnings from lending activities.
Emphasising that the BISX-listed institution's development of electronic banking and credit card processing c ...
DESPITE reassurances by the Christie Cabinet that Bank of the Bahamas (BOB) customers have no reason for concern, the FNM is questioning if the government has intentionally mislead Bahamians on the institution's lending practices...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Central Bank of the Bahamas has effectively said that only a concerted medium to long-term effort by the Government, on both the revenue and spending fronts, will "significantly improve" the fiscal deficit and national debt situations, despite a 25.2 per cent reduction in the former to end-March 2011.
Although the fiscal deficit for the first nine months of the 2010-2011 fiscal year was down by $63.9 million at $189.9 million, the Central Bank's latest monthly economic and financial development report for March showed the improvement was driven "by [the] nearly two-fold rise" in non-import Stamp duties to $202.4 million ...
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Scotiabank Bahamas donated ten thousand dollars to Special Olympics Bahamas to send Team Bahamas to The Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens, Greece.
Local financial institutions are receptive to the new risk assessment framework being introduced by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, with the governor of the bank saying she is encouraged by the responses.
Wendy Craigg told Guardian Business that the recent Risk-Based Supervision Framework (RBSF) seminars were a success and were "extremely useful" in terms of identifying the various risks that local firms face.
With the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics less than two weeks away, Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) announced the launch of a national drive to raise funds for the men's 4x400-meter (m) relay team, kicking off the campaign with a $10,000 donation and urging the public to keep the contributions flowing.
"There's a good chance that every one of us remembers exactly where we were and how we felt when we watched or heard of the 'Golden Girls' becoming number one, winning gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney," said BOB Deputy Managing Director Hubert Edwards. "We all felt so much national pride that you would have thought we had run the race ourselves. Now we have an outstanding team in the men's 4x400m relay event and we want to send them off to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics with the knowledge that The Bahamas is rooting for them and cheering them on with national spirit, energy and enthusiasm."
Starting with the bank's donation of $10,000, BOB branches throughout the country will build the men's relay team account number 284899 by accepting cash or check donations at all bank branches or by phoning the BOB Credit Card Centre at 396-6010.
"Our athletes have worked so hard just to get to this point. When you consider the sacrifices they make in their personal and social lives, the hours of strenuous training, the dedication it takes and the commitment they make, their accomplishments reaching the Olympic team status warrants all the support we as a nation can give them, so when they get to London and they are out there on that track they know they are not running alone. They have a whole team of Bahamians running with them in spirit," said Edwards.
Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) 1st Vice President Shervin Stuart, thanked BOB and said recipients would be named as soon as the final relay pool members were determined by the relay coordinator and coaching staff.
"When we first approached BOB, we were only seeking a cash donation," said Stuart. "They sent a sponsorship review team out to the track to meet with the BAAA, and when they came back and proposed a national drive plus their $10,000 donation, we were overwhelmed by their generosity and enthusiasm. It gave us all, including the athletes, such a positive feeling, and it's a fitting match, the national, award-winning bank with what we hope will be a national medal-winning team."
Donations may be made through close of business on Friday, July 27. Team members in London will find additional funds added to the VISA cards they are sent with.