Last update: 24-Apr-2014 12:29 am
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Republic Bank on Guyana, Belize blacklisting - It could affect trade and payments
A regional anti-money laundering body has called on Caribbean countries to “consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Belize and Guyana.”
The counter measures, which amount to a financial blacklisting of the countries, will mean that all financial transactions between T&T and Guyana and Belize will be placed under much greater scrutiny, with the possibility that wire transfers and other payments would be delayed or denied.
Responding to questions on the impact of the counter measures on trade and payments between T&T and the affected countries, Republic Bank executive director, Nigel Baptiste, said: “These measures will undoubtedly negatively affect trade and payments between the countries as the enhanced monitoring will result in longer turnaround time, higher costs and possibly the refusal of accepting payments where information requirements are not met.
“Where correspondent and other banks or parties restrict the types of business being done, this will negatively affect trade income and payments and may lead to investors withdrawing from Guyana and Belize.”
Republic Bank has a significant subsidiary in Guyana, having acquired 51 per cent of the shareholding in National Bank of Industry and Commerce Ltd on November 1997. The subsidiary was officially rebranded as Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd on June 2, 2006.
The virtual blacklisting of Belize and Guyana is a directive of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), an organisation comprising 29 jurisdictions in the Caribbean Basin region that have agreed to implement international standards on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).
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