**Hon. Alfred Sears, M.P.**

The Hon. Alfred Sears, Attorney General of The Bahamas, says this jurisdiction handles expeditiously all judicial requests processed through the AG’s Office as well as regulatory requests processed through regulatory authorities here in The Bahamas. He refers to the long established commitment to international cooperation and to ensuring that the financial services industry remains prudentially regulated and vigilant against the dangers of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In a June 2005 report on its Non Cooperating Countries and Territories (NCCT), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted that The Bahamas had shown progress in implementing its anti-money laundering regime, and in addressing international co-operation concerns. To ensure continued effective implementation of AML/CFT reforms enacted, the FATF had adopted a monitoring mechanism for “de-listed” jurisdictions. This monitoring process is carried out against stated implementation plans, specific issues raised in the annual FATF reports and the experience of FATF members on implementation issues. Subjects addressed in this context could include regulatory, FIU and judicial cooperation , adequacy of resources, and assessment of the compliance culture in relevant sectors.

At the recently concluded FATF Plenary in Paris, The Bahamas – off the so-called black list (NCCT) since 2001 – was removed from the formal monitoring regime imposed by the task force. AG Sears noted that this jurisdiction will continue to maintain the high standards achieved, notwithstanding the discontinuance of the monitoring process. *”It is the culture of settling for nothing less than the highest standards in the governance of our financial services industry that will continue to make The Bahamas attractive to reputable investors, no matter the vicissitudes of the global financial system,”* says Minister Sears. He adds, *”Regulation and supervision will continue to be the cornerstone of national efforts, if we are to ensure that the frontline operators in financial services industry adhere to best market practices.”*