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Nassau Tribune: Bahamas Now Heads Caribbean Financial Group
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Posted by:Oct 31st 2002, 06:06:46 pm
KimberlyOctober 31, 2002 - 09:00
CFATF Post Boosts Bahamas Reputation
Leadership particularly important now, says Sears

The Bahamas' chairmanship of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has reinforced the nation's image as a leader in the fight against money laundering in the region, attorney general Alfred Sears told the House of Assembly yesterday.

Mr. Sears, who this month formally asssumed leadership of the Caribbean affiliate of the group that blacklisted The Bahamas two years ago, said his new role was not the first time that the country surpassed its critics and competitors in moving to protect financial services.

He pointed to the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, one of 11 laws passed in 2000 in response to criticism from the Financial Task Force (FATF), the CFATF's parent body.

That law, Mr. sears noted made provisions for the supervision of professions and companies that were not considered "traditional" financial institutions. Lawyers, accountants and real estate agencies, for instance, were categorised as financial institutions and held responsible for confirming their clients' identity and reporting suspicious activities to Bahamian regulators.

He said, "The Bahamas takes pride in the fact that it is a well regulated financial centre, committed to the highest standards in the provision of financial services and is serious about the integrity of its financial services sector."

CFATF countries contributed to the FATF's exercise of reviewing 40 Recommendations that the latter group used as its basis for blacklisting The Bahamas two years ago.

Mr. Sears suggested that the move made The Bahamas' leadership of the CFATF especially important, saying this nation would continue to actively participate in regional and international groups.

By Samantha Joseph, The Tribune

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