Fintech bank one of final pieces of puzzle’
An announcement on the introduction of fintech-friendly banking in Bermuda is expected this month.
David Burt said such a facility was one of the “final pieces of the puzzle”, referring to the Bermuda Government’s efforts to make the island a leading jurisdiction for fintech.
“There will be an announcement coming soon from Government on that. We have been working very diligently on this process and the fact is there are a lot of countries that are looking to solve these problems,” the Premier said.
“Bermuda is at a disadvantage because it was never a banking jurisdiction. We have a limited amount of banks, and we have legislation that says there are a limited amount of banks that can enter our jurisdiction.”
He contrasted this with some of Bermuda’s competitors that “have individual banks that may be more willing to take on a different risk appetite than some of our banks”.
Mr Burt added: “That being said, we recognise that this is one of the final pieces of the puzzle and we know that we are almost there and I look forward to making the announcement in February.”
The Premier made the remarks as he unveiled a technology training and education programme designed to address another part of the island’s fintech ambitions.
The Fintech Business Unit has created an education and training plan to enable Bermudians to acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to seek employment with technology and fintech companies that are setting up a presence in Bermuda, or those that have expressed an intention to do so.
The Government has set aside $100,000 in its current budget to sponsor phase one of the programme this year. It has already attracted interest from 25 Bermudians keen to learn about the training and career opportunities in the technology and fintech sector.
The Premier said the programme is designed to meet the needs of all sectors of the community irrespective of a participant’s experience level, and to “enable interested people to acquire training and certifications to be prepared and ready to assume specialised positions in the local fintech industry or related technology fields”.
The programme will also enable local educators to become trainers through a “train the trainer” programme.
Mr Burt said the initiative will also support the work of other government entities in affording opportunities for work in traditional positions that support fintech companies.
He said: “There are companies that are coming to us that are asking for recommendations on employees that are available to work inside their industries. We want to provide more persons with the ability to seek those jobs. That is why we are putting funding into this training programme so we can have Bermudians trained up to seek those positions.”
The programme will be ongoing, with phase two to follow next year. Participants will gain certifications within the emerging technology fields. There will be group classes, boot camps and online training. One of the local trainers is Coral Wells, owner of ConnecTech, which has its offices and workspace in Hamilton.
Mr Burt added: “There are numerous facilities that already exist. In addition there are facilities inside our government and inside our schools.”
When asked if there would be a fee to participate in the training, the Premier said: “We have allocated $100,000 in this current budget year. It is our view that access to higher education should not be impacted by your ability to pay. The Government has the resources and will put the resources in place.”
Two one-hour briefing sessions will be held on Wednesday at 12.30pm and 5.30pm. They will be led by Gina Tucker of the Fintech Business Unit, and are open to Bermudians of all ages.
Mr Burt said: “The programmes will start shortly after the information sessions. Some of these are online programmes. The persons that have signed up prior to this announcement are going to be the first in line. As demand increases we will slot [more] people in.”
• To register for the briefing sessions visit www.bermudajobboard.bm and click on “FinTech Education”.