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Apr 21, 2023

More Legislative Changes to Meet FATF’s International Standards

Prime Minister John Briceño

And, the Government of Belize continues to take legislative action towards meeting the technical requirements set out by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). Today, Prime Minister John Briceño introduced seven amendment bills inside the House of Representatives. All seven bills are of a financial nature and are being amended to reflect compliance with international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing standards. Here is a brief look at some of the sweeping legislative changes and how they may impact the way you do business.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“The Credit Unions Amendment Bill sets out provisions to require credit unions to comply with all requirements of the money laundering and terrorism prevention act, ensure the chief executive officer, senior executives, and members of the board of directors, supervisory committee, and credit committee of credit unions are fit and ready to function in the relevant capacity. This is to prevent criminals and other associates from exercising significant control over credit unions. The Central Bank of Belize Amendment Bill sets out provisions to reinforce the Central Bank authority to ensure financial institutions comply with their AML, CFT, CPF obligations, to avoid conflicts of interest by the Central Bank leadership and staff, provide for counterparts particularly with respect to The exchange of supervisory information. The Domestic Bank and Financial Institutions Amendment Bill sets out provisions to ensure financial institutions are licensed and that the approval of a license is not issued to allow shell banks to be financed or to continue to operate, allow for the operational independence of the Central Bank to have full discretion to take actions and decisions on bank and banking groups under its supervision. The Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Amendment Bill is deceptively long. Clause forty-seven introduces a new section eight which is itself is about three hundred pages long but it just simply list individuals and entities which the United Nations oblige us to apply targeted financial sanctions against and which is required by the FATF. So, we have taken a practical step to clear the backlog of those designated persons through this schedule as opposed to flooding the courts with over seven hundred applications and brining our judicial system to a standstill.”


Amendments were also made to the National Payment Systems Act, the International Banking Act and the Money Lenders Act.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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