Bermuda chairs AML/ATF task force
Bermuda’s efforts to prove its reliability in global efforts to counter money laundering and terrorism financing, face another crucial test in the new year.
But government revealed today that the island has assumed the chair of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the very body responsible for promoting compliance with the principles of international anti-money laundering and antiterrorism financing (AML/ATF).
Bermuda’s acting Financial Secretary Cheryl-Ann Lister has been installed as chair of the body that in recent years has had teams assess Bermuda for compliance with those requirements.
Government has been working since before a 2020 assessment report to improve on areas recommended by the task force, in preparation for a follow up assessment next year.
Passing the test is crucial to the stability of Bermuda’s international business.
Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, told a press conference today: “The agencies of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee have focused this year on progressing Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorism matters, in preparation for our May 2022 follow-up review on the actions taken in response to the recommendations contained in the 2020 AML/ATF Mutual Evaluation report.
“This body, whose members include most of the countries in the Caribbean, is responsible for, among other things, working with its members to improve compliance with international AML/ATF requirements, including through the mutual evaluation programme.
“The work being done in addressing all of these international initiatives is critical to the economy of Bermuda, given its relevance to Bermuda’s reputation as a substantial economic centre with industry of global importance.
“By preserving our quality reputation, we can continue to retain and attract quality international business, which is a substantial contributor to government’s revenues, providing valuable income that can be used to fund social services and other key government initiatives.
“In addition, the knock-on effect of spending, by this sector, in other areas of the economy positively impacts all of us.
“Overall, this sector of the economy has proved to be a source of stability and support during the challenges caused by the pandemic and as a result, which will be highlighted later, some areas of government revenue have remained strong or shown slight improvement.”
Meanwhile, the minister said a great deal of government resources have been spent on the Global tax Initiative of the OECD, as finance ministry officials remain in talks with various OECD groups.
He added: ”We remain committed to progressing this matter, with appropriate collaboration and communication with industry and other stakeholders, to ensure an outcome that is beneficial to all relevant parties. In addition, considerable work has been done to ensure that the Economic Substance framework has been appropriately and effectively implemented.
“We have undergone a number of assessments this year in areas related to these global tax initiatives, and we continue to work closely with the OECD and the EU to progress these matters and to demonstrate our commitment to a high level of compliance.”