Government Continues To Build Confidence of the International Community by Strengthening the Financial Sector

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 01, 2017 (SKNIS):  The financial sector in St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be strengthened in an effort to further build confidence of the international community “in our jurisdiction as a responsible partner operating in their financial space”, said Hilary Hazel, Financial Secretary.

 The financial secretary was at the time responding to a question in relation to correspondent banking – which is the provision of banking services, via a bilateral arrangement, between domestic banks (respondent banks) and other banks (correspondent banks), to service transactions originating in different jurisdictions and often in multiple currencies.

 “We have been building overtime as the prime minister [Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris] had indicated – the strength of our Financial Services Regulatory Framework – in that you would have seen a number of amendments, for example, just  recently in Parliament there was a Bill to do with amendments to the Trust Act,” said the financial secretary. “We continue also to look at the slate of legislation that has any relationship to do with the financial services sector to see where we can keep apace with the many changes that are taking place internationally.”

 She added that there has been an increase in onsite visits to further engage persons and entities that are licensed to carry out business.

 “We have continued as well to participate in the regional efforts to bring a regional solution. However, in the interim here in St. Kitts and Nevis, we have been proactive in terms of keeping a very strong and robust Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislative framework in place, as well as having much more vigilant interaction with service providers and these persons who have been licensed to carry out money service businesses as well,” she said.

 Mrs. Hazel used the opportunity to appeal to the general public to cooperate and seek to follow the laws of the land in every way possible.

 In addition to the many measures that have been put in place to address the issue of money laundering and counter financing terrorism, and the continued strengthening of the financial sector in St. Kitts and Nevis, in Tuesday’s (May 23) Sitting of Parliament, the Advance Passenger Information (API) Bill was passed to tighten safety and security across borders and the Immigration Act was amended to compliment the provisions for the API Bill.

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