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Anti-money laundering and combatting terrorist financing is serious business for Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (1)The Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Montserrat staged a one-day consultation at the Cultural Centre, regarding Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Terrorist Financing (CTF) on July 17, 2013.

An invitation from the FSC stated that the workshop aimed, “to comply with International standards set out in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations which outline a comprehensive and consistent framework of measures including training and public awareness programmes which countries should implement in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (14)

Ms. Grace Rock

The workshop followed closely upon the return of Premier Reuben Meade’s return from the United Kingdom, where he along with other British Overseas Territories (OTs) leaders were invited by British Prime Minister John Cameron, soon to be chairman of the G8 countries to discuss discuss Tax transparency matters.

Both Premier Meade and Montserrat Governor Adrian Davis gave brief addresses at the opening of the workshop. Governor Davis said that Montserrat became the first of the Overseas Territories to have extended the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Premier Meade re-emphasized the urgency and the necessity for Montserrat to participate in the global counter activities.

“This is a very important ask, and it’s an example actually of implementation by Montserrat rather than simply saying they would do something. Montserrat has done it and in fact this is the process which is the combination of the process which began almost 12 months ago to get the convention extended so Montserrat was in the lead on that,” the Governor said.

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (16)

Ms. Donilia Cuffy

The convention, which was extended to the island on July 6 enables the Government to engage in effective exchange of information with a number of countries, the Governor indicated, adding that this is one of several steps the island has taken to date in an effort to combat tax evasion.

The Governor revealed further one of his role as, “…so far as I can do it is to try and discuss with the UK government how proportional and how pragmatic we can be in Montserrat in meeting standards, and if some allowance can be made for the smallness of our jurisdiction.”

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (3)

Premier Reuben T. Meade

He said, “We have made two important commitments – to negotiating a FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) with the UK, and we need to publish by the end of the year an action plan on beneficial ownership.”

He said the two things are actually slightly congenital to the day’s discussing, being all part of the same thing. “And, the fact that you’re holding this workshop is another important demonstration of the commitment.”

The Hon Premier at his turn said it is imperative that Montserrat continues to comply with international regulations on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. “The United States has said very clearly if you do not comply … if you do not comply any transaction being done through the United States, they will automatically deduct 30% of the transaction…” adding that the Europeans have now come onboard in terms of determining tax compliance, anti-money laundering. “It is not just a US thing, it’s a global thing, so all of us will get on board,” he said.

He said the public needs to understand that what they’re doing, “is not simply trying to get into your business but simply trying to protect you, protect Montserrat, protect the rest of the region, and the world, form these acts of terrorism, acts of money laundering…”

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (2)

Governor Adrian Davis

The Premier referring to those practicing money laundering do it even through churches. “They sometimes are very unique in terms of how they do the laundering, including churches. Churches can be involved in money laundering without recognizing that they are part of it,” he said seriously.

According to a government release earlier, in May this year, Meade at the 43rd meeting of the Board of Governors’ of the Caribbean Development Bank in St. Lucia told the finance ministers that the Caribbean is struggling to keep up to date with changing international standards such as FATCA and have spent millions on these regulations. He said the expertise and resources have placed tremendous pressure on already stretched budgets but was confident that more can be achieved collectively.

“These actions have serious implications for the territories because their economies are not sufficiently diversified to absorb the fallout from major reductions in income from tourism and financial services,” he said seeking cooperation.

According to the report, it said the Premier said he raised the matter because all of the CDB borrowing member states are in some way affected by the increase in international regulations and are struggling to respond. The OTs because of their size and resource base are one or two sector economies specifically in the areas of tourism and financial services.”

He informed that over the past ten years, these areas have been threatened by actions taken globally to combat crime and corruption. Tourism, in particular has been affected by the falling levels of disposable income and we have seen many of the tourism plant being abandoned.


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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Bennette Roach

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (1)The Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Montserrat staged a one-day consultation at the Cultural Centre, regarding Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Terrorist Financing (CTF) on July 17, 2013.

An invitation from the FSC stated that the workshop aimed, “to comply with International standards set out in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations which outline a comprehensive and consistent framework of measures including training and public awareness programmes which countries should implement in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

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Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (14)

Ms. Grace Rock

The workshop followed closely upon the return of Premier Reuben Meade’s return from the United Kingdom, where he along with other British Overseas Territories (OTs) leaders were invited by British Prime Minister John Cameron, soon to be chairman of the G8 countries to discuss discuss Tax transparency matters.

Both Premier Meade and Montserrat Governor Adrian Davis gave brief addresses at the opening of the workshop. Governor Davis said that Montserrat became the first of the Overseas Territories to have extended the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Premier Meade re-emphasized the urgency and the necessity for Montserrat to participate in the global counter activities.

“This is a very important ask, and it’s an example actually of implementation by Montserrat rather than simply saying they would do something. Montserrat has done it and in fact this is the process which is the combination of the process which began almost 12 months ago to get the convention extended so Montserrat was in the lead on that,” the Governor said.

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (16)

Ms. Donilia Cuffy

The convention, which was extended to the island on July 6 enables the Government to engage in effective exchange of information with a number of countries, the Governor indicated, adding that this is one of several steps the island has taken to date in an effort to combat tax evasion.

The Governor revealed further one of his role as, “…so far as I can do it is to try and discuss with the UK government how proportional and how pragmatic we can be in Montserrat in meeting standards, and if some allowance can be made for the smallness of our jurisdiction.”

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (3)

Premier Reuben T. Meade

He said, “We have made two important commitments – to negotiating a FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) with the UK, and we need to publish by the end of the year an action plan on beneficial ownership.”

He said the two things are actually slightly congenital to the day’s discussing, being all part of the same thing. “And, the fact that you’re holding this workshop is another important demonstration of the commitment.”

The Hon Premier at his turn said it is imperative that Montserrat continues to comply with international regulations on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. “The United States has said very clearly if you do not comply … if you do not comply any transaction being done through the United States, they will automatically deduct 30% of the transaction…” adding that the Europeans have now come onboard in terms of determining tax compliance, anti-money laundering. “It is not just a US thing, it’s a global thing, so all of us will get on board,” he said.

He said the public needs to understand that what they’re doing, “is not simply trying to get into your business but simply trying to protect you, protect Montserrat, protect the rest of the region, and the world, form these acts of terrorism, acts of money laundering…”

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (2)

Governor Adrian Davis

The Premier referring to those practicing money laundering do it even through churches. “They sometimes are very unique in terms of how they do the laundering, including churches. Churches can be involved in money laundering without recognizing that they are part of it,” he said seriously.

According to a government release earlier, in May this year, Meade at the 43rd meeting of the Board of Governors’ of the Caribbean Development Bank in St. Lucia told the finance ministers that the Caribbean is struggling to keep up to date with changing international standards such as FATCA and have spent millions on these regulations. He said the expertise and resources have placed tremendous pressure on already stretched budgets but was confident that more can be achieved collectively.

“These actions have serious implications for the territories because their economies are not sufficiently diversified to absorb the fallout from major reductions in income from tourism and financial services,” he said seeking cooperation.

According to the report, it said the Premier said he raised the matter because all of the CDB borrowing member states are in some way affected by the increase in international regulations and are struggling to respond. The OTs because of their size and resource base are one or two sector economies specifically in the areas of tourism and financial services.”

He informed that over the past ten years, these areas have been threatened by actions taken globally to combat crime and corruption. Tourism, in particular has been affected by the falling levels of disposable income and we have seen many of the tourism plant being abandoned.