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Insurance firms told monitor finances

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A call has been made for insurance companies to step up on the supervision of their finances to curb money laundering in the Caribbean.

This plea was made by Chairman of the International Financial Services Authority, IFSA, Claude Samuel as he addressed participants at the Regional Insurance Company Supervision workshop, held at the Methodist Church Hall from November 28 to December 1.{{more}}

Samuel noted that too many financial institutions such as insurance companies were poorly monitored, thus enabling faudsters, money launderers and terrorists to finance their activities.

He pointed out that criminals wanted to enjoy their proceeds and re-invest them without drawing attention to the illegal sources of their wealth, and insurance companies were becoming an excellent means of doing this.

The IFSA Chairman explained that the Caribbean must not become a conduit for criminals and terrorists to operate effectively, hence it needed to have stricter supervision and regulations.

The Chairman said that St.Vincent and the Grenadines had so far made moves to merge the International Financial Authority, the Supervisory Regulatory Division and the Ministry of Finance and Planning to form a new regulatory authority for financial services. He said this was all part of efforts by most jurisdictions in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, OECS, to create a single regulatory and supervisory unit to monitor both domestic and off shore financial entities, that fell outside the mandate of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, ECCB.

The workshop was held by the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Financial Services in collaboration with the Office of the Financial Institutions, OSFI, Canada and the Supervisory and Regulatory Division, Ministry of Finance and Planning and the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee.

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