In the wake of The Bahamas’ removal from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest told Eyewitness News on Friday, that government intends to make necessary adjustments to remain proactive to prevent future blacklisting.
“I have no doubt that we have the strength and the capability to provide real thought-leadership about compliance issues and about financial services, and where we ought to be going to ensure that there is fairness and equity across the spectrum,” said Turnquest.
“We continue to work hard and try to be proactive.
“It’s no use that we stand still and argue about the tides changing. We have to recognize that things are changing and we have to envision where we see it going and try to get to that point before regulators even understand that there is an issue.
“We keep waiting for the industry to move, but sometimes getting ahead of the competition is a good thing because you have the opportunity to set the standard. If we take the lead and establish the standards then there is no reason for the EU to challenge on that.”
Two months after The Bahamas was blacklisted by the EU, the country was officially de-listed as a tax haven on Friday.
The Bahamas was added to the blacklist on March 13.
Turnquest said it’s been a long two months of hard work to align local compliance standards with international guidelines.
“We know that there are standards that they have already given a heads-up on. some of them we will cooperate with, because they are in our best interest, and others we will reserve our rights. We have a right to conduct business in this country as we see fit in the interest of Bahamian people,” he shared.
EU tax officials have moved The Bahamas from the blacklist to a so-called grey list.
Those who are on the grey list could be moved to the blacklist if they do not honor their commitments.