Accountants join fight

Accountants are seen as one of the main gatekeepers in tackling serious crime on a national level, and so, with changes to the global standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing having been agreed, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Barbados FIU of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados have joined forces to host a breakfast event discussing the changes to the accountant’s role as a result of this.

Brenda Lee Tang, head of ACCA Caribbean said: “The massive settlements reached recently between authorities in the US and a number of major international banks demonstrate the seriousness with which regulators are now supervising compliance with the anti-money laundering regimes to which banks and many other categories of institution and professional adviser are now subject.

“The basis of the settlements illustrates the depth of the concerns of governments and others about how lax controls on money laundering and the financing of terrorism can facilitate major criminal activity.

“Governments and regulatory bodies around the world are now looking at how to incorporate the updated global standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing into their laws and rule books.”

Head of technical at ACCA, John Davies, will deliver the feature presentation on the day about the changes to the global regulations and what they will mean for accountants.

“The accountancy profession needs to be kept informed of the updates on global standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations,” Davies said. “We are depended on, along with banks, to ensure that the financial system is not abused and that those who try to do so are identified.”

There will also be presentations from the FIU on the current state of play of the supervision of the anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing regime for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions such as accountants in Barbados and a panel discussion, chaired by Executive Director of ICAB, Reginald Farley, featuring John Davies, Shelley Nicholls-Hunte, Director FIU; and Cheryl Greenidge, deputy director of bank supervision of the Central Bank of Barbados.

Shelley Nicholls-Hunte, Director of the Barbados FIU commented: “In light of the ever-growing threats of money laundering and terrorist financing, countries stand on the eve of the adoption of the new Financial Action Task Force Methodology on anti-money laundering/counter-financing of terrorism measures. We anticipate and therefore must prepare for a more detailed and rigorous assessment of our AML/CFT regimes for our accountants and other gatekeepers to mitigate the possibility of abuse to our financial systems. AML supervision of these sectors is becoming a reality. ”

The Tackling Money Laundering: Expanding the compliance regime for accountants event is being held from 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Hilton Barbados, Garrison Room.

Similar events are also being held in Jamaica on 14 February and Trinidad on 18 February.

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