On Friday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the British Colonial Hilton, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) officially launched its Bahamas Chapter.
The Bahamas Chapter was established to promote the overall mission of the global organization ACAMS. The chapter’s mission is “to advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of those dedicated to the prevention, detection and reporting of international money laundering.” The chapter seeks to promote ACAMS as a platform for career development and professional networking for its members by organizing meetings and events of local interest to ensure continued professional development. The goal is to ensure that the chapter will be an effective and productive resource for members, financial institutions and related businesses. The Bahamas Chapter will collaborate locally with all relevant stakeholders to equip professionals to prevent, detect and report financial crimes. In furtherance of ACAMS’ international mission, the Bahamas Chapter seeks to:
- Provide local perspective and input into regional and international standards for the detection and prevention of financial crime, including money laundering and terrorist financing
- Establish more networking platforms upon which local anti-money laundering/ counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) professionals can collaborate with peers throughout the archipelago of the Bahamas and its neighboring countries
- Provide a forum for local ACAMS member events on a regular basis, and facilitating ACAMS-approved potential speakers, trainers and sponsors to address the membership on a periodic basis
- Promote growth for the AML/CTF community in the Bahamas and complementing the chapter’s message to the global community that there is zero tolerance in the Bahamas for financial criminals
- Offer unique benefits for Bahamians and residents who sign on as members of the ACAMS Bahamas Chapter
- Provide the government and other industry partners such as the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers, the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, the Insurance Commission of the Bahamas, the Gaming Board for the Bahamas, the Compliance Commission of the Bahamas, the Financial Intelligence Unit and other interested stakeholders with a diverse pool of AML/CTF expertise through the promotion of cross-functional and real-world experiences
- Become a trusted partner/advisor for professional associations in the Caribbean region
- Have a forum to work more cohesively with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre and other agencies in the region on AML/CTF matters
- Provide an enjoyable experience to all its members
The chapter’s primary intent is to raise the profile of ACAMS as the association for professional development and networking for AML/CTF practitioners by facilitating opportunities for continued learning, sharing best practices and augmenting the proficiency of Bahamas Chapter members. It is the vision of the Bahamas Chapter that the Bahamas will be recognized internationally as a jurisdiction committed to adhere to the highest possible standards of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and the prevention of financial crime.
The Honorable Carl W. Bethel Q.C., the attorney general and minister of legal affairs of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, gave the keynote address at the launch. The Bahamas recently underwent a CFATF Mutual Evaluation. In this regard, Attorney General Bethel outlined that the Bahamas was now compliant with 30 out of the 40 FATF Recommendations. He emphasized the commitment of the government of the Bahamas to ensure that systems were in place to prevent financial crime.
Geoffrey Fone, CAMS, ACAMS vice president, general manager of the Americas, was in the Bahamas for the launch. He provided an overview of ACAMS and its global reach. Also, in attendance was Denise Perez, ACAMS head of Caribbean.
The first training event of the Bahamas Chapter scheduled for September 18, 2019, will focus on designated non-financial businesses and professions. It will be a half-day conference and workshop titled Financial Crime in Non-Financial Businesses and Professions. The objective of the half-day conference and workshop is to highlight the practical aspects of AML/CTF such as understanding the risk-based approach, designing a risk-based framework and the important elements of a compliance program.
The Bahamas Chapter is committed to providing opportunities for training and professional development to all persons engaged in the fight against financial crime
The founding steering committee and executive board is comprised of the following team of experienced compliance and financial services professionals:
The Bahamas Chapter is committed to providing opportunities for training and professional development to all persons engaged in the fight against financial crime. For more information, please visit: https://www.acams.org/acams-chapters/bahamas/.