Local Regulators to Discuss AML/CFT and Access to Financial Services
Officials from three of the island’s financial regulatory bodies will team up to discuss how Barbados can balance compliance with anti-money-laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards and serving the public’s needs for access to financial services during an online panel discussion on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
The panel comprises Jennifer Clarke-Murrell, Deputy Director (Ag.) of the Central Bank’s Bank Supervision Department; Cyralene Benskin-Murray, General Counsel at the Financial Services Commission; and Kirk Taitt, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. The local financial services sector will also offer their perspectives through interventions from Candice Huggins, Chief Compliance Officer at CIBC FirstCaribbean and Wanda Massiah, Compliance Manager at Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union.
“AML/CFT and regulatory compliance might sound like something that is only relevant to those working in the financial sector, but these matters affect us all. A simple example of this is persons wanting to do business at financial institutions being required to show more and more documentation such as utility bills or multiple pieces of photo ID. This is related to AML/CFT’s Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines,” explained Novaline Brewster, Chief of Corporate Communications at the Central Bank. “It might all sound a little like alphabet soup, but it very much impacts the average Barbadian.”
Earlier this year, while addressing members of the Barbados Association of Insurers and Financial Advisors (BARAIFA), Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes spoke of the threat that increasingly arduous international regulatory requirements can pose to financial inclusion:
“We all know that local financial institutions must comply with the (AML/CFT) standards which require financial institutions to conduct due diligence on their current and potential customers. Over time, the requirements have become more stringent and the costs of non-compliance more severe. Some financial institutions, faced with the ever-present risk of loss of correspondent banking relationships, have chosen to de-risk some of their customers.
“De-risking as a single incident would be troubling. At a systemic level, it could be dire not only for individuals but also for the economy.”
Brewster previewed that the session will not only explore issues such as alternative approaches that aim to protect financial inclusion while still meeting regulatory standards, but also give insight into some of the financial scams that have that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This promises to be an interesting and robust discussion, so we encourage everyone to register and participate.”
“Customer Due Diligence, Reporting Obligations, and Monitoring” is the second event of the Central Bank and FSC’s Domestic Financial Institutions Virtual Seminar series. The first event, “Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change: A Financial Sector Perspective” was held in July.