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Anti-money laundering regime strengthened

New guidelines seek to balance critical watchdog functions of the financial sector regulators and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in ensuring effective operation of the AML/CFT regime in The Bahamas. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Friday, November 12, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010

The Central Bank of The Bahamas rolled out a new protective measure this month – one which seeks to strengthen the anti-money laundering, counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, further safeguarding the jurisdiction.

The Guidelines for Assessing the Fitness and Propriety of Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) in The Bahamas have been agreed to by the Group of Financial Services Regulators.


These guidelines contain a common set of criteria that each financial sector regulator will use to assess individuals nominated to serve as MLROs in financial institutions doing business in The Bahamas.

Among other things, the MLRO should have sound understanding of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks of the financial institution it monitors. Additionally, the MLRO should have extensive practical experience in the accounting or legal profession and the financial services industry, including the banking/co-operatives, securities and insurance sectors.

The measures also stipulate that money laundering reporting officers have sufficient level of authority and independence within a financial institution to enable the officer to carry out his/her function. The MLRO must report directly to the board of directors or management.

The new guidelines seek to balance critical watchdog functions of the financial sector regulators and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in ensuring effective operation of the AML/CFT regime in The Bahamas. They are flexible, allowing each regulator to adopt additional criteria specific to the environment in which they operate.

These guidelines are applicable only to prudentially regulated financial institutions, that is, financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank, Securities Commission, the Insurance Commission and the Director of Cooperative Development. They took effect November 1, 2010.

Charles Galante, managing partner of New York-based Real Infrastructure Capital Partners LLC notes that numerous island nations face regulatory issues when trying to develop or implement renewable energy strategies.

Together with fellow Bahamian and web enthusiast Chad Bowe, Forsythe set up The Bahamas Internet Association in an effort to provide some cohesion to the burgeoning industry. Here he explains some of the thinking behind the project:

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