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Feb 22, 2019

“We are currently nowhere blacklisted”, Says PM

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

With respect to the financial and banking sector, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that ‘innovations including the establishment of a Secured Transactions and Collateral Registry as well as a Credit Bureau are being finalized. In terms of de-risking, Belize remains free of blacklisting.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“One of the most obvious has been the banking sector, which remains on alert due to the on-going regional and international de-risking realities. However, all our major banks do have solid-seeming correspondent relationships. Maybe not as many as they would like but every bank does had very solid correspondent banking relationship. And our jurisdiction’s AML/CFT infrastructure is known to be effective and continuously strengthening. I remember when we had gone to Washington, at the time of the first appearance of this de-risking crisis and we spoke to the Treasurer at the time, Jack Lu. He assured us that it is nothing to do with Belize’s anti-money laundering legislation. Your jurisdiction, he said, is sound. I am here to say that is has been sound for a while and it has grown even sounder, even stronger. Other pressures that have impacted us, and in particular the offshore sector, have arisen due to critically urgent compliance requirements manufactured and dictated by external bodies such as the EU and OECD.  These are compliance requirements that appear to be moving targets. Indeed, at times it seems as though they are designed ultimately to destroy rather than guide our attempts at financial sector diversification.  Nevertheless, we have worked diligently to deliver on the new international regulatory infrastructure. And while the external masters seem expert at imposing on us a one step forward two steps backwards routine, we have so far been successful in avoiding the cliff’s edge. Accordingly, we are currently nowhere blacklisted.”

 

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