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Bankers Association to submit written presentation on amendments to financial crimes law

The Guyana Association of Bankers (GAB) has been given less than two weeks to submit a written presentation to the parliamentary select committee on proposed amendments to 2009 Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT).

GAB President, Amit Kumar told Demerara Waves Online News in an exclusive interview that his organisation and the select committee had a fruitful 90-minute long interaction on Wednesday.

Kumar’s presentation came as Guyana hopes to beat next month’s deadline of a global blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force on top of the one already imposed by its Caribbean affiliate (CFATF) in November 2013.

While Kumar cited privacy and confidentiality in refusing to disclose the contents of the presentation, he said the GAB made several suggestions and received clarifications.

“We made many a suggestion. We had some wrong interpretations in our mind. They corrected us. Also, we made several suggestions to them and also they corrected us.

“They explained many things so they corrected us and we understand what we were interpreting it was not in conformity with the law so it was a good discussion,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), John Tracey said Guyana’s blacklisting by the CFATF has resulted in longer processing time for inbound and outbound money transfers.

He said requests for additional information by correspondent banks were unpredictable were holding up some transfers. “We are beginning to experience these- further enquiries and delays,” he said.

Tracey, however, said his bank was not yet losing money due to delayed transactions as a result of the CFATF’s move against Guyana.

Citing the need to have tough legislation and proper systems in place to fight money laundering, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has withheld its support for the amendments for several months now.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) has tied its support for the AML/CFT amendments to the establishment of a constitutionally required Procurement Commission in the hope that it would help weed out money laundering through the award of multimillion dollar contracts to government and ruling party associates.