Finance minister touts anti-money laundering conference

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Deputy Prime Minster and Minster of Finance Peter Turnquest indicated that the government is currently drafting legislation to ensure the financial services sector continues to meet international expectations for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

In keeping with this mandate, Turnquest announced the launch of an AML/CFT conference during a press conference at the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.

“The government of The Bahamas recognizes the critical need to ensure that this industry, and Bahamian society at large, are protected from the damage with financial crime,” said Turnquest.

“The strong regulatory regime that characterizes the financial services sector ensures that the integrity of The Bahamas, as an international financial centre, is maintained.”

In addition to preventing anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism, another pertinent focus he said, will be combating financial crime.

Turnquest said the country is committed to international best practices, cooperation in the demonstration of justice and the continued practice of international tax transparency.

“The government has taken a decided approach that we want to be the thought leaders in terms of AML/CFT as well as financial regulation overall,” he said.

“We want to join the conversation so we help shape the direction that financial services is going and to make sure that the international community understands and appreciates the vulnerabilities that we, as small island state international financial centers have, as well as to expose the quality of our jurisdiction and the professionals that we have engaged, both on the regulatory side as well as on the private sector side,” he affirmed.

Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) Governor John Rolle told the press that Bahamian governments and regulators have for many years, taken steps to ensure that the country adheres to international standards and best practices, with respect to discouraging financial crime.

Rolle, who also serves as Chairman of the Group of Financial Services Regulators said, that the conference will bring ideal opportunities for key stakeholders in the industry to engage in meaningful discourse on global trends also impacting AML/CFT, and the implications for small states such as The Bahamas.

The governor will speak on the importance and need to continue the successful Bahamian transition from thinking about AML/CFT as a compliance challenge and have the new perspective of strategically managing risk.

The conference is set for September 17-18.