Friday, September 21, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said regulators have issued Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) guidelines, codes of practice and rules to industry stakeholders outlining best practices for verifying the identity of their customer and developing AML/CFT procedures and measures.
“Along with The Central Bank of The Bahamas, other regulators, such as, The Securities Commission of the Bahamas, Insurance Commission(ICB) and Compliance Commission, are actively engaged with monitoring their constituents with regards to AML/CFT compliance,” DPM Turnquest said at the two-day AML/CFT Anti-Money Laundering: Countering the Financing of Terrorism 2018 Risk Management Conference at Baha Mar, September 17, 2018.
He said: “Accordingly, all regulators under the banner of the Group of Financial Service Regulators (GSFR) recently issued two guidance notes on the sound management of risk relating to Financial Crime and Proliferation Financing.”
“All regulators have issued AML/CFT guidelines containing the revisions required by the new financial sector legislation (Proceeds of Crime Act, Financial Transactions Reporting Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act).”
The DPM said regulators have also developed independent inspections and regulatory examinations programmes and have been conducting onsite reviews of financial service providers including corporate service providers.
He noted that there are other areas in which regulators are demonstrating great leadership and success.
“In fact, I want to commend the Central Bank for its leadership in the area of financial inclusion, particularly when it comes to technology driven access to financial services for Family Island communities. Your work is preliminary, but you have a clear vision to maximize financial inclusion domestically.”
DPM Turnquest said as the country builds out its legislative and regulatory framework, it must have balance with its other domestic interests.
He announced that the government has asked Central Bank to coordinate with, in the first instance, other Bahamian regulators, and then with a broad stakeholder group, to review opportunities to rapidly and materially increase Bahamian participation in the financial sector.
The DPM said that he has asked the Governor of the Central Bank, John Rolle and his colleagues in the GSFR to provide him with a report by June 30, 2019. This report will:
- Describe the current state of financial inclusion in The Bahamas;
- Identify areas where financial inclusion can be improved; and
- Recommend specific steps to be taken by the Government, public sector agencies, and the private sector to improve financial inclusion.
He has further asked Governor Rolle and his colleagues to concentrate their recommendations on practical ideas that can be achieved in the reasonably short term, without the need for major legislative reforms or government spending, and without imposing large capital or operating costs upon the industry.
“Our expectation is that this work will focus on cataloguing and assessing already identified potential reforms, or at least partially identified reforms.
“In addition, I have also asked for a list of longer term ideas that will probably require deeper consideration. Nothing in this request is meant to slow the public sector reform efforts already underway.”
DPM Turnquest said for the strength of the industry, a strong, modern, responsive regulatory environment is critical, and the nation’s regulators are certainly up to the task. “They are industry leaders and have much to share by way of best practices.”