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PRESS RELEASE: CENTRAL BANK INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS ON MOVE TO Continuous AML/CFT Supervision

Published: Tuesday December 12th, 2017

CENTRAL BANK INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS ON MOVE TO Continuous AML/CFT Supervision

The Central Bank of The Bahamas is inviting public comments on the proposed AML/CFT SUPERVISORY STRATEGY – CONSULTATIVE DOCUMENT. The document is the result of extensive review, highlighting the conclusion that Bahamian Supervised Financial Institutions (SFIs), and the Bahamian financial system, would be better served if the Bank shifted from periodic examination of AML/CFT risks, to continuous supervision of these risks including the enhancement of its offsite surveillance and assessment of AML/CFT risks.

By moving to a continuous AML/CFT supervision regime, the Bank expects that the Bahamian jurisdiction will improve both its actual and perceived risks in these areas with the long term objective to see the Bahamian banking, credit union, and trust industries both actually, and perceived as, among the global leaders in effective AML/CFT risk management.

The Bank’s AML/CFT supervision strategy is expected to combine elements of comprehensive and risk based approaches and all SFIs exposed to AML/CFT risk will be subject to a minimum level of supervisory attention, without regard to the risk assessment.

These reforms meet several of the Bank’s objectives, as follows:

  1. The Bahamian financial system, economy, and society will be better protected from financial crime, and the many harms that flow from this criminality.
  2. The Bahamian financial system will benefit from an appreciable improvement in its reputation for managing AML/CFT risks with strong bank and trust company management of AML/CFT risks being necessary, though not sufficient, for The Bahamas as a jurisdiction to be perceived as lower risk.
  3. Rather than imposing new and expensive requirements on the industry, the Bank intends to achieve the above benefits by better organizing, and in some cases repurposing, the extensive national effort already flowing into AML/CFT risk management.
  4. The Bank intends to commence continuous supervision of SFI AML/CFT risks from 1 January 2018.

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