When the bulls are running, success stories are everywhere. However, in complex and volatile times, the innovative alone lead the charge.
Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd, ever a pacesetter, pioneer, and catalyst for positive change in The Bahamas, has just been awarded the Best Private Banking Services - The Bahamas 2020 title. It's in recognition of Cornèr Bank's reputation as a beacon of banking excellence and innovation, developing services and educational materials that give Bahamas-based investors local access to the full gamut of global investment opportunities, opening the door to a new financial era in the islands.
Cornèr Bank’s proven track record of bringing new and award-winning offerings to the Bahamian financial sector, as well as educational services designed to inform new clients on these products’ use, have made the bank the clear choice.
The Builder’s Cornerstone
Every successful pioneering expedition launches from a well-stocked base camp - and Cornèr Bank’s Bahamian affiliate is no different. Founded in 1952 in Lugano, Switzerland’s third-largest banking centre, the Cornèr Bank Group focused on building a strong financial foundation to keep the ship sailing smoothly, even in rough seas. Today it boasts an exceptional Tier 1 capital ratio of 24.4% - three times higher than the minimum regulatory requirements - and has been listed first in financial soundness on The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks list for four consecutive years. From this excellent footing, Cornèr Bank Group has consistently extended its range of services and areas of operation to match increasingly global demand for sophisticated and seamless banking solutions. Its extensive list of financial services is offered from Switzerland, London, Milan, Vaduz, and of course, through Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Limited, Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas. From its parent company’s deeply-rooted foundation, Cornèr Bank Bahamas has been successfully providing financial solutions in the islands since 1996.
The Bahamas has long been a prominent financial hub in the western hemisphere, thanks to its proximity to both North and Latin America, its stable democracy, and favourable tax environment (though no doubt the gin-clear waters, bone-white beaches, and balmy weather played a role as well). Without taxation on capital gains, inheritance, or income, The Bahamas has been a private banking nexus for decades — the benefits of which had only been available to foreign residents. Despite serving wealthy foreigners in the country’s extensive financial services industry for more than half a century, Bahamians had been limited to investing within their island’s coastlines. On the horizon would come unprecedented relaxations in the archipelago’s foreign exchange regulations, opening the door for Cornèr Bahamas to lead the charge.
The Dawn of a New Era
In 2018, The Central Bank of The Bahamas relaxed its restrictive regulations, and overnight, the doors to world markets were thrown open. Native holders of Bahamian dollars were liberated and able to finally reap the benefits the world of trading and investing could offer.
True to its pioneering spirit, Cornèr was poised and ready to guide Bahamians through the unfamiliar waters of the international markets. The bank had spent two years preparing to offer to Bahamians its online trading platform, Cornèrtrader, and its 2018 launch marked the first time a local firm had offered real-time access to the NYSE and the NASDAQ. Not only was Cornèr Bahamas prepared to welcome new clientele, but the bank also positioned itself as a financial hub for newcomers navigating the markets, proving itself to be a true cornerstone of the Bahamian community.
Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd's CEO, Christine Russell — a Bahamian national herself, and a seasoned veteran of the Bahamian financial sector — best articulates the significance of this achievement:
“The advent of Cornèrtrader marked a milestone in Bahamian financial culture, as it empowers Bahamians like never before. For the first time, we gave Bahamians and residents alike the opportunity to engage in any of the world’s major stock exchanges from virtually anywhere - in their homes or even on the beach.”
To a country previously limited to a shallow pool of relatively undiversified investment offerings, this was a giant leap forward.
“With a click of a mouse, Bahamians could easily purchase anything they wanted on Amazon, but until Cornèrtrader, they could not say the same for a share of Amazon itself. No longer are we just consumers, now we can be owners too.”
Commitment to The Craft
In a further show of exemplary commitment to their clientele, Cornèr Bank (Overseas) offers the learning tools necessary to use it’s new and exciting products. At the Bahamian launch of Cornèrtrader, the bank’s director Luca Salzborn summarized the efforts, saying, “We are committed to offering to all our existing and prospective clients’ continuous education with seminars or one-to-one meetings about markets and the use of our platform, as we believe that a key element for successful investing lies in mastering the technical and financial aspects that go with it.”
For Bahamas-based investors less eager to dive into markets unassisted, Cornèr Bank (Overseas) offers additional types of accounts alongside its Cornèrtrader platform that provide users with assistance and recommendations tailored to their preferences. Holders of Investment Advisory Accounts receive proposals based on their personal level of risk aversion and investment goals. To take it further, Cornèr Bank (Overseas) offers Discretionary Investment Management Accounts, which are managed according to the client’s risk profile.
“I would like to thank the International Investors Awards, and the subscribers of International Investors magazine, for recognising Cornèr Bank’s continued leadership and excellence,” says Russell. “It’s an honour and a privilege to accept this award on behalf of my organisation — but the true reward comes from knowing that we are making a real difference in the quality of our clients’ investment options.”
Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd’s product innovation, consistency in client communication, transparency and overall client satisfaction will continue to propel the bank not just to the top of the award podium, but into the future, setting the pace for financial services worldwide.