The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury Department this month lifted an advisory against financial institutions in The Bahamas. This followed the June “delisting” of the nation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The advisory effectively had warned financial institutions in the US to carefully consider how deficiencies in the counter-money laundering controls of The Bahamas might affect the possibility that transactions are used for illegal purposes. This referenced any transaction originating in or routed to or through The Bahamas – or involving entities organised or domiciled, or persons maintaining accounts in The Bahamas.
FinCEN removed the advisory following a review by the FATF, which reported that The Bahamas had implemented significant legal reforms to combat money laundering. The Treasury Department noted that, in conjunction with a review of the FATF’s findings and following technical assistance provided by FinCEN to the Bahamas, it had informed banks and other financial institutions that The Bahamas *”now has counter-money laundering regimes generally complying with international standards.”* The Department added that it expects The Bahamas will continue to take the necessary steps to implement reforms brought about and, further, will continue to cooperate in the global fight against money laundering.
The FATF reported on The Bahamas’ removal from the so-called “blacklist” of non-cooperative countries and territories last month on the occasion of releasing its twelfth annual report. At that time, the inter-governmental body acknowledged that The Bahamas *”has addressed the deficiencies identified by the FATF through the enactment of legal reforms, and has taken concrete steps to implement these reforms.”* The nation, in fact, has put in place the legislative and regulatory regime – complete with necessary implementation structures — to ensure a quality financial services sector.