Friday, April 26, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
The following is a statement by the government of The Bahamas regarding the appointment of Stephen Thompson as national anti-money laundering coordinator:
The Bahamas continues to play an integral role in the international financial services sector by creating and maintaining the highest quality of financial intermediary products and services while adhering to the Anti-Money Laundering & Combating the Financial of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards of the Financial Action Task Force- the international standard-setting AML/CFT body.
As a prominent member jurisdiction of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (the CFATF)–the regional equivalent of the Financial Action Task Force (the FATF) and, as of November 2012, deputy chair of that organization, the government of The Bahamas fully subscribes to ensuring the greatest level of compliance with our AML/CFT obligations.
We are cognizant of the challenges of complying with the 40 recommendations of the FATF and are attuned to the revisions to those recommendations, which came into effect February, 2012.
Nevertheless, we will continue to commit the necessary resources to ensure compliance with those standards ahead of our next Mutual Evaluation by the CFATF which is scheduled for early 2014.
The most critical revisions to the FATF’s Recommendation are seen in Recommendations 1 & 2, where Recommendation 1 requires The Bahamas, to identify, assess and understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the country and to develop mechanisms to effectively mitigate such risks.
Recommendation 2 stipulates that our AML/CFT policies and programmes should be properly coordinated and regularly reviewed.
In our effort to meet these obligations, The Bahamas has appointed Stephen Thompson as National Anti-Money Laundering Coordinator.
Thompson has been an integral part of the National Anti-Money Laundering Task Force which falls within the Office of the Attorney-General.
Having served within the financial services regulatory framework since 2001, Thompson is fully aware of the local, regional and international AML/CFT initiatives.
In addition to his work locally, he has also participated in the work of the CFATF and FATF and served as an assessor for the CFATF on two (2) occasions.
Therefore, we are satisfied that he has the requisite qualifications and commitment to serve as The Bahamas’ AML/CFT National Coordinator.
As National Coordinator, Thompson will be responsible for, among other things, monitoring The Bahamas’ level of compliance with regional & international AML/CFT standards, ensuring adequate preparation of The Bahamas for all regional and international AML/CFT assessments, creating and maintaining a robust AML/CFT public relations and training programme, etc.
We wish Thompson every success in his role as National Anti-Money Laundering Coordinator as we seek to further strengthen our financial services sector and prepare to assume the enviable position of chair of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force in November of this year.