Three months added to Register of Beneficial Ownership Act compliance deadline

Following consultation with the Bahamas Bar Association and other financial corporate service providers, the deadline for compliance with the Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018, has been pushed back an additional three months, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest.

The period for registration has now been extended to March 31, 2020 instead of the original date of January 1, 2020.

“We do not see this as being of any significant consequence, however it is important that we do get the registry up and fully implemented as quickly as possible. To date, we have approximately 80 percent of the associations and financial corporate service providers registered and compliant,” Turnquest said yesterday, while presenting a bill in the House of Assembly yesterday for the extension of the registration deadline.

“With the act, we aim for 100 percent by March 31 and in the new year, January, the attorney general’s office will engage in an exercise to ensure that all of financial corporate service providers, particularly those that may be smaller and a little bit more challenged in fulfilling the requirements, that they have all of the systems and training that they need in order to effectively utilize the system and ensure that we meet our commitment to the international community to identify beneficial owners and uphold that registry.”

The Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018, allows for the establishment and maintenance of a secure search system to assess beneficial ownership details for all legal entities registered in The Bahamas.

It requires all international business companies (IBCs) of any makeup to concede their anonymity.

“For the information of members, this is not a public registry, however, the information is contained in a secure environment,” Turnquest pointed out.

The act allows for owners or legal entities to be subject to fines from $5,000 or six months in prison to fines of $250,000 or five years in prison.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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