The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) has issued a call for Guyana to pass the updated Anti-Money Laundering legislation that continues to be a source of contention in the country’s National Assembly.
The Banking Association said it “recognizes the Guyana government’s efforts to put in place alternative measures to address the technical deficiencies in its existing legal and financial legislative framework for assessment by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and applauds them. However, it is one small step in actions required by Guyana in order for it to comply with international standards”.
In a Monday afternoon statement, the Caribbean Association of Banks said Guyana must pass the essential Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill.
“The passage of the AML bill is not only about Guyana, but also about the international financial sector as a whole in order to protect all financial systems, within the region, from ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. We are only as strong as our weakest link,” said Caribbean Association of Banks, Chairman Carlton Barclay.
According to the regional bankers, “Billions of dollars are laundered each year posing significant policy concerns for governments worldwide. As a result, governments and international bodies have undertaken efforts to deter, prevent, and apprehend money launderers. Non-compliance to the global FATF recommendations will have a significant impact on Correspondent Banking Relationships which, in turn, is of vital importance to the facilitation of business in the financial services sector of the region”.
“Guyana’s expediency in passing the AML/CFT Bill will not only benefit its own economy and growth but strengthen our regional financial network and its reputation worldwide”, the Association said.
Caribbean Association of Banks, Inc is a community of banks and other financial institutions in the Caribbean/CARICOM Region, which provides opportunities for discussion on issues impacting the regional banking/financial services community as well as for the sharing of experiences and networking. CAB is an organization dedicated to the advocacy of national and institutional adherence to AML/CFT.
It recommends and supports full compliance with the AML/CFT standards in order to protect all financial systems, within the region, from ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks offering ongoing training and education for its members.
The Government of Guyana has been calling for the Opposition to throw their full support behind the updated anti money laundering legislation. But the Opposition parties which hold the majority in the National Assembly have indicated that there must be changes to some parts of the legislation and it should also include Opposition recommendations. Guyana faces a possible blacklisting by the International Financial Action Task Force if it does not pass the updated Anti Money Laundering legislation.
File: 6th October, 2014