In that regard, Mrs. Williams is to head a Jamaican delegation to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to accelerate the country’s representation to the body.
The CFATF is an organisation of 25 States of the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America that have agreed to implement common countermeasures to address money laundering.
Addressing today's opening of the 7th Annual Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Mrs. Williams informed that Jamaica has sought and obtained a seat on the CFATF’s influential Steering Committee to increase its participation in the work of that body and, consequently, the wider Financial Action Task Force (FATF) global network.
The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation based in France, which was established to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
“I will seek to advance certain issues that are of benefit to Jamaica, including de-risking issues, regulatory regimes for emerging technologies, and financial inclusion,” Mrs. Williams noted.
In the meantime, the Minister said the Government is continuing its work to reform and strengthen Jamaica’s anti-money laundering/counter-financing of terrorism framework to comply with global standards.
“Currently, new amendments are being proposed to the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Terrorism Prevention Act and the United Nations Security Council Resolution (Implementation) Act; as well as to the Microcredit Act. These amendments will address technical deficiencies outlined in the Mutual Evaluation Report of Jamaica carried out by the CFATF, and will complement enacted legislation and amendments,” Mrs. Williams said.
She noted that it is critical that these laws be passed by next May, “to demonstrate to the FATF our commitment to meet the global standards”.
Mrs. Williams praised the organisers of the conference for their consistency in “keeping the critical issue of (banking) compliance front and centre”.
“Banking compliance both strengthens and protects Jamaica’s financial system whilst contributing to law-enforcement efforts in gathering the intelligence and evidence necessary to uncover economic crime,” she said.
The two-day conference, which is being held under the theme ‘Compliance: Keeping Pace to Stay Ahead’, seeks to provide participants with sound institutional strategies to stay ahead of the game in the effort to protect clients, institutions and the country in general, against money laundering and terrorism financing.
The annual event targets anti-money laundering/counter-financing of terrorism compliance practitioners from the deposit-taking and non-deposit-taking financial institutions; attorneys-at-law; front-line staff; internal and external auditors from the local and regional financial sectors; real estate practitioners; gaming industry personnel; accountants; law enforcement and regulators.
The meeting is being hosted by the Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA) in collaboration with the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services (JIFS).
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