Monday 27 May, 2019

AG: Barbados working to comply with FATF standards

File Photo.

File Photo.

Barbados is making sure that when it comes to meeting the standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. 

Attorney General, Dale Marshall said it is critical that the standards, which are aimed at combatting the funding of terrorism, must be met so as to prevent the country from being blacklisted. Also from making it a high risk jurisdiction for money laundering and terrorism. 

Marshall met with officials of the task force during his trip to Washington DC recently, where he said,

“The Financial Action Task Force has now adopted an open ended life span, initially it was established with a view to having a termination date but recognizing that the issue of money laundering and terrorism financing are almost perpetual at this point, the ministerial took a decision that its lifespan will now be open ended.” 

Marshall, who is also Chairman of the Caribbean Action Task Force, said the this decision is important as Barbados scored poorly when the mutual evaluation was done two years ago and is now trying to score as well as they can in the upcoming evaluation - a plenary that will take place in Trinidad in May. The country he further stated has to be rated by a FATF plenary in Paris later this year. 

He told media during a press conference he is confident the deadline will be met with favorable approval by the international regulatory body. 

“One of the criticisms that the international arena constantly makes of jurisdictions like ours is the absence of continuous engagement, we only raise our heads when something happens, but never takes the trouble to be constantly engaged with these international bodies so that we are always attuned to the shifting in the wind, and the developing of relationship so that we can have confidence in each other as we go forward,” he explained. 

He contends it is important for Barbadians to stay alert, as the country continues to position itself on the global financial services market. Most people, he noted, do not see the connection between the obligations to be in tune to the standards set out by the international bodies. 

He explained if Barbados does not meet the standards set by the FATF in relation to money laundering, it is not only the issue of blacklisting that the government has to worry about but companies will consider Barbados to be a high-risk domicile.  

“We will lose the correspondent banking and companies will not come to Barbados. We are going to do a further three pieces of legislation relating to the financial arrangements and so on.” 

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