Domestic banking will be ‘radically different’

Domestic banking will be ‘radically different’
Gowon Bowe (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The domestic banking industry will be ‘radically different’ over the next 10 years, a well-known banker said yesterday, while urging the expansion of Bahamian ownership in the sector.

Gowon Bowe, Royal Fidelity CFO, spoke at the CFA Society of The Bahamas’ webinar yesterday.

“Our domestic environment is one that I think is going to be radically different over the next 10 years,” he said.

“We have seen a banking industry that has been dominated by international ownership. That is not to criticize it but between the UK banks and Canadian banks that have had a strong foothold in Bahamian domestic baking industry, it is one that we have to look at how we expand Bahamian ownership.”

Bowe pointed to the growth and expansion of a number of Caribbean banks and noted that increased Bahamian ownership in the domestic banking sector will become even more crucial as international banks contemplate their continued presence in the region.

Pointing to the international banking segment, Bowe argued that the Bahamas must start thinking about its tax policy.

“Our tax policy is what we have sort of protected and which has led to our demise,” he said.

“We have held that we want to be a jurisdiction with low or no income taxes and in reality it has not served us well. Is it one ​that we​ ​we​ need to hold?”