Improving money laundering prevention systems key

Barbados is working towards the strengthening of its anti-money laundering regime, to cut down on suspicious financial transactions, thereby preventing criminal abuse of our financial systems. Speaking during the launch of a Mutual Evaluation Workshop held at the Radisson Aquatica Hotel in St. Michael yesterday, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite stressed that the workshop formed part of the process to prepare the country for the mutual evaluation of its anti-money laundering regime. “So we are going to have three or four workshops in that regard, because it is a process,” the AG stated. The evaluation of the anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime of Barbados, is based on the Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the twenty-two recommendations of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the AG has hinted that not only Barbados, but other countries across the region need to strengthen their anti-money laundering regimes, so that the Caribbean as a whole can be viewed in a more favourable light, by financial institutions outside of the region. Linking it to our correspondent banking relations, the AG noted that it is important to have strong anti-money laundering regimes across the region, since multinational banks are weary about losing money whilst operating in the region and will often weigh the returns, against the risks involved. “That is what it comes down to. The risks, then, is it worth it? So if we are having challenges in terms of the financial return, we have to ensure that in fact the risks are also diminished and that’s the importance of having an effective anti-money laundering regime across the region... because it’s no use Barbados being all right, but Jamaica being bad or Trinidad being bad or everyone else being good and we are bad. It’s a region and there is a cost of doing business, because, as you know, all of the banks operate across the region, so it’s important to all of us,” the AG pointed out. (RSM)

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