Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019
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BFSB, AIBT respond to EU’s decision on blacklisting

Although pleased The Bahamas escaped another blacklisting by the European Union (EU), financial services sector agencies said yesterday they remain poised to continue efforts addressing the concerns of the international tax watchdogs.

The Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that The Bahamas was not included on the European Union’s (EU) list of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes.

In a joint statement, the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) and the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies in The Bahamas (AIBT) noted they have been working assiduously alongside the government to address the concerns raised by the European Union in March of 2018.

“We support the government taking these necessary steps to avoid an adverse impact to The Bahamas as an international financial center and to pursue initiatives that position this jurisdiction for sustainable growth and development,” the statement notes.

Since being added last year to an EU blacklist, the government has passed several pieces of legislation to address the concerns of the EU, including the Multinational Entities Financial Reporting Act, 2018; the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act, 2018 and Guidelines; the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Act, 2018; the Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018; and the Penal Code (Amendment) Act, 2018.

“We will continue to support the government as it moves to implement the measures that have been taken. This is an ongoing effort that requires us to adhere to international standards whilst acknowledging the importance of the financial services sector to our economy,” BFSB Chief Executive Officer Tanya McCartney said in the statement.

Although The Bahamas was not included on the list, the Ministry of Finance noted that dialogue with the EU is ongoing and it will continue to monitor The Bahamas along with other jurisdictions “as a part of its ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of our measures as time goes on and as its process evolves”.

“The EU has made it clear that we will be subject to continued monitoring. Industry stakeholders are committed to doing their part to meet the requirements set for the business of international financial services,” AIBT Co-Chairman Bruno Roberts said in the statement.

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