By Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The decision by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to encourage its member countries to implement counter measures to protect their financial systems from ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana will undoubtedly deter investor interests and limit the country’s marketability, finance minister Dr Ashni Singh said.
“Guyana’s credibility in the international community will be severely damaged. International business relations with Guyana will be subjected to intense scrutiny which inevitability will become bureaucratic and costly for investors,” Singh explained.
According to a statement from the ministry of finance, the consequences of the CFATF action are far reaching:
1. Persons who receive remittances / cash via money transfer systems may experience delays in receiving the transfer. There may also be an increased processing fee resulting from additional paperwork.
2. Proof of income and identification of the sender of such remittances will be enhanced. Persons most likely to be affected by this are undocumented aliens who reside abroad.
3. The transfer of money from local to external banks will be delayed as international banks begin to sever ties locally.
4. This delay in bank transfers or severing of financial ties with local banks can affect fuel prices and ultimately the cost for travel and commodities.
5. Local businesses may experience delays in the shipment of goods as additional paperwork will be required to prove that a business is legitimate and not a shell company laundering monies or financing terrorism.
6. Enhanced scrutiny will be implemented to verify the source and destination of all monies.
7. Persons who shop online and use debit and credit cards to conduct such transactions may find their transactions are denied or delayed.
8. Insurance services (fire, life, mortgage etc), most of which depend on reinsurance from abroad, are also expected to experience delays, additional filing of paperwork and possibly increased fees.
“Despite numerous warnings, multiple engagements, calls from the private sector, manufacturing industry, banking and insurance sectors and the diplomatic community, it is most unfortunate that Guyana’s development has received such a striking blow due to non-cooperation at the parliamentary level,” Singh added.
“The implications of Guyana not complying with the CFATF requirements will undoubtedly affect our social and economic development,” he concluded.