By Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGETOWN, Guyana — In a statement on Saturday, ahead of a UK Parliamentary debate on Tuesday on a Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that will have an effect on the financial services of the Overseas Countries and Territories, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) called on members of the FATF and OECD Global Forum to work together to establish new international regulatory standards in areas such as beneficial ownership and tax information exchange, as opposed to unilateral measures.
“Such co-operation would be in the best interest of all in the pursuit of a more economically prosperous future, underpinned by international institutions, and where all societies, their internal institutions and peoples are respected,” the statement read.
CARICOM associate members, which include Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, are an integral part of the Caribbean Community family whose circumstances, self-governance and democratic rights should not be disregarded, the statement noted.
“In that context, we are deeply concerned about the potential impact on their economies by any impositions that would go against the spirit of democracy and diminish their standard of living. A number of our associate members have for some time run successful financial centres that meet the high standards of regulation set by international standard setting bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and OECD Global Forum,” CARICOM said.
CARICOM recognises that global security and financial crime are increasingly intertwined and therefore supports the work of the FATF and its regional bodies in developing international AML/CFT standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
“Within the Community, our member states and associate members have expended considerable resources towards achieving compliance with AML/CFT standards. Countries in the region have also supported global initiatives led by the OECD Global Forum and have entered the necessary international agreements to facilitate the sharing of information on beneficial ownership,” the statement added.