Jamar BIBA President

This is the response of BIBA, the Association for Global Business, to the highly anticipated release of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring – dated February 23rd, 2024.BIBA welcomes the removal of Barbados from the FATF’s list of Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring (often referred to as the “Grey List”) – dated February 23rd, 2024. This has been a long sought-after goal of government and the Global Business Sector in Barbados. It is the culmination of years of hard work by various government departments and regulatory authorities; with a lot of support where necessary from the private sector. Special mention must be given to the hard-working and dedicated staff in said organizations who BIBA witnessed directly on many occasions going above and beyond to make this a reality.

The FATF in its statement confirming that Barbados is no longer subject to increased monitoring by the FATF highlighted that Barbados strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime to meet the commitments in its action plan including but not limited to (1) demonstrating it effectively applies risk-based supervision for FIs and DNFBPs; and (2) taking appropriate measures to prevent legal persons and arrangements from being misused for criminal purposes, and ensuring that accurate updated beneficial ownership information is available on a timely basis. These two areas in particular highlight and confirm that Barbados as an International Financial Services Center is as mature and well-regulated as we always understood it to be. The acknowledgement of these improvements, and the removal from the list, therefore strengthens the already strong reputation of Barbados as a transparent, responsible and effectively regulated jurisdiction to conduct global business and to invest.

BIBA remains mindful of the practical implications of being on the list and being removed from the list. We expect that Barbados will continue to attract responsible foreign investment that contributes positively to the country’s economy. More importantly, it should be noted that for all previous investment opportunities where Barbados’ inclusion on the “grey list” was the major obstacle, this has now been removed. Additionally, the jurisdiction can commence the reversal of the other negative effects or burdens of being on the list which include, but are not limited to, reputational damage, reduction of foreign direct investment from some sources and the negative impact on some global banking relationships and cross border transactions.

There will therefore be positive direct and indirect consequences to this news and confidence in the Jurisdiction will be much higher. However, Barbados must be mindful that work must be consistent to not only stay off such lists but to look ahead to the future and take steps to ensure we are two steps ahead of changes in global requirements that could place us on future lists. BIBA stands ready in its unyielding support for Barbados in its efforts to keep ahead in the ever-changing global landscape in which Barbados operates.