“Axe will fall”

Minister warns of reckoning for lack of due diligence on blacklisting issue               


Minister of State for Legal Affairs Elsworth Johnson warned that the “axe will fall” if it is found that proper accounting did not take place in an effort to avoid blacklisting by the European Union (EU).

Despite the “black eye” to the financial services sector, Johnson said the sector remains strong and The Bahamas has continuously made strives to remain compliant.

“We have a vibrant financial services industry but when I look at a report presented by the Board… and I don’t blame anyone – but they outline the inception of the activities for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FATCA) and the requirements and the pressure brought on by other communities,” he said.

“I see over the decades that both our administrations passed acts to try to adjust to the recommendations to follow the taxable dollars of the European countries.”

While the blacklisting is unfortunate, Johnson said officials in the industry have also admitted that the goal post is constantly moved without reason.

Still, the minister said, “I assure Bahamians that I intend to collaborate on this issue and there will be accounting and if is found that through inadvertence that this act have occurred the axe will fall.

“I say no more.”