As a direct result of recent initiatives by the OECD on harmful tax competition, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force has appointed a Working Group to address relevant issues. In addition to The Bahamas, the Working Group comprises representatives from Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Panama.
Established in the early 1990s, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force comprises 22 Caribbean Basin countries – all of which have agreed to common counter-measures addressing criminal money laundering. CFATF works closely with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) established since 1989 by the Group of 7 in Paris. Its Secretariat is based in Trinidad & Tobago, although the chairmanship (currently the Cayman Islands) is rotated among member states.
The CFATF Secretariat monitors self-assessment by member countries of the implementation of FATF and CFATF recommendations, and coordinates an ongoing programme of “mutual evaluation” by members. In 1996, it introduced a Money Laundering Typology Programme directed not only at domestic financial institutions but also including a) the casino and gaming industry b) offshore banks, financial intermediaries, IBCs and c) non-bank financial institutions. As part of its mandate, CFATF also coordinates and participates in training and technical assistance programmes for member countries. It works closely with international organisations such as the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), OAS, CARICOM, Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC), the Centre Interministeriel de Formation Anti Drogue (CIFAD), Association of Caribbean Chiefs of Police (ACCP), and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Bahamas has been an active member of the CFATF since 1996, and has signed its Memorandum of Understanding. It has participated in the mutual evaluation exercise for other member countries, and itself was successfully evaluated in 1998.