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ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Feb 15, CMC – Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, said he is pleased that no member state has been included in the European Union (EU) 2019 financial blacklist of countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing regimes
“We know we are living in a world in which we cannot afford not to undertake certain fundamental responsibilities, but we are all happy to be removed from the list,” said Mitchell, who also confirmed that each member territory had received notice indicating that sub-regional countries are being monitored by the EU to ensure that compliance is maintained.
The OECS group includes the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.
Earlier this week, The Bahamas government said it regrets the decision of the European Union College of Commissioners to include the country in a list of high-risk third countries for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) deficiencies.
“The Bahamas ought not to have been listed and regrets this action by the EU College of Commissioners. We will seek all ways to ameliorate and, if possible, encourage the EU commissioners to reverse their decision,’ said Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Carl W. Bethel.
Trinidad and Tobago is the only other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country listed on the EU list that Europe said is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks.
The EU named 23 countries from various jurisdictions including the United States, Asia and Africa that are not in compliance with the measures.
It said that as a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks or due diligence on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries, to better identify any suspicious money flows.
Grenada and other OECS countries have in recent weeks repealed several financial legislation which provides for international businesses to receive special concession and treatment that was described as unfair by the EU.
Meanwhile, Mitchell will chair Friday’s meeting of the St. Kitts-based Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
The Monetary Council will receive the ECCB Governor’s Report on Money and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
The Monetary Council is the highest decision-making authority of the ECCB and comprises the finance ministers from the OECS.