Panama Aims To Shake Gray Label

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The Panamanian government is expected to submit a bill in the next month with controls and additional supervision to crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing, according to La Prensa.

The bill is seen as a response to Panama being included on the gray list of countries not completely cooperating with the Financial Action Task Force in its efforts to combat international money laundering and terrorist financing.

Being on the FATF grey list has brought difficulties for financial institutions and banks in Panama. According to Minister of Economy and Finance Dulcidio De La Guardia, some financial institutions “cannot access the international financial system.”

In June 2014, Panama’s government signaled that it was willing to cooperate with the FATF and the South American Financial Action Task Force to address deficiencies in its banking and financial industries regulations.

The necessary regulations for each sector will be defined by a risk assessment conducted by the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Panamanian government. Nonfinancial sectors are expected to be included, with Panama’s Banking Association President Carlos Troetsch saying, “The inclusion of nonfinancial sectors in this commitment is required for its impact on the country’s image.”

The deadline set for Panama to make the required legislative changes to be removed from the gray list is June 2015.

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