On June 13 th, 2019 The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) partnered with The Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) to offer the Correspondent Banking – Anti- Money Laundering (AML) Certificate Course, at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel here in Nassau,Bahamas. The risks posed by correspondent banking are of concern to regulators, bankers, and broker-dealers in securities alike. Local financial institutions are facing the challenge of derisking. Meanwhile, U.S. financial institutions have faced severe penalties as a result of their foreign correspondent banks having weak BSA/AML compliance programs. The program is designed for both U.S. financial institutions offering correspondent banking, as well as for foreign financial institutions which have or are seeking a U.S. correspondent banking relationship. U.S. financial institutions will acquire practical knowledge to apply to their compliance program, while foreign financial institutions will have a better understanding of the correspondent relationship; thus, enabling them to demonstrate to their U.S. correspondent bank their compliance program to respond to contract
The areas covered during the training included, History and Regulatory Expectations; Definition of Foreign Correspondent Banking; Certifications & Re-certifications; FFI Risk Rating Methodology; Due Diligence Programs; Transaction Monitoring; Case studies; Screening Requirement: 311 & OFAC; and Contract Items Considerations. CEO and Executive Director of BFSB Miss Tanya McCartney thanked the US Embassy in Nassau for bringing the parties together at a recent Caribbean Dialogue on this issue of de-risking held in Miami Florida.
It was as a result of this forum that BFSB was moved to invite FIBA to facilitate the course in New Providence. She stated “The issue of derisking poses a considerable threat to the sector. BFSB and The Association of International Banks and Trust Companies have been
collaborating to develop strategies to mitigate against this phenomenon. Key to addressing this issue is for local financial institutions to understand the expectations of correspondent Banks and takes steps to demonstrate that they do have the requisite internal controls, policies and procedures to address financial crime in accordance with our local laws.
This Correspondent Banking AML Certificate provides a practical application of the US regulatory requirements. Further, it equipped financial institutions with some of the tools necessary to assist in for adeptly managing correspondent banking relationships.” The course facilitator was Ms. Maria Jose Fox. She has over thirty (30) years of practical international, U.S. domestic and regulatory bank experience in the areas of private banking, credit and international bank examinations. Mr. Douglas Sun, Political and Economic Chief at the US Embassy in Nassau attended a portion of the event as well.
Persons enrolled in the program included senior bank officials, AML/Compliance Personnel and representatives of The Central Bank of the Bahamas. Over 25 persons successfully completed the program and will be awarded certificate in AML for Correspondent Banking.