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Haiti - FLASH : The situation is critical, transfers and Haitian banking system threatened
29/08/2016 09:18:33

Haiti - FLASH : The situation is critical, transfers and Haitian banking system threatened
Friday an important meeting at the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-18441-haiti-flash-us-threat-on-money-transfers-to-haiti.html brought together the Presidents of both Houses of Parliament, members of the executive, heads of banking institutions in Haiti, the General Staff of the National Police and the economic leaders from business sectors, to assess the risks to the Haitian economy following the US decision to take action on all money transfers between the two countries if a set of concrete measures are not in place by November concerning the fight against money laundering.

Recall that this decision follows a formal statement of Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Montigo Bay last June, which highlighted the shortcomings of the Haitian anti-money laundering regime and invited the country to take corrective action. Statement which was based on the findings of a CFATF evaluation mission in Haiti, which found that the Haitian financial system was in a very serious situation, particularly in the exchanges with correspondent banks in the United States.

Since the banking authorities, financial and business sector in Haiti fear that weak anti-money laundering measures in Haiti, can cause a financial isolation of the country internationally, if the CFATF relayed by the Action Group international Finance (FATF) called on all countries to take vigilance measures against Haiti.

According to the Governor of the BRH if Haiti does not put in place by November proper arrangement conforms to international standards of the FATF, to the international conventions ratified by Haiti and does not adapts the legal mechanisms (code, process, legislative tools) of prevention, detection and suppression of money laundering and terrorist financing, it could have very serious consequences given the Haiti dependence with major US banks.

He stressed that if the intermediate US banks stopped their relation with banks and financial institutions in Haiti it's more than 75% of transfers received and transfers to foreign countries who will be affected. Moreover, the effects will also be felt in other types of international financial transactions (letters of credit, guarantees, credit lines, etc...) , the money transfer will be much more expensive and Haitian banks,
who have deposits abroad, might have to pay fines on their account. This will have a significant impact on transaction costs and will affect local prices with negative consequences for the population and the political and economic stability. Faced with these risks, the Governor of the BRH encouraged all stakeholders to take the necessary measures to prevent Haiti from being quarantined by international financial institutions.

Baden Jean Dubois, recalling the importance of the legislative measures taken in previous years, noted that they are insufficient and need to be amended in light of the development of means increasingly sophisticated used by fraudsters.

After the conference, all participants with worried face, claimed to have seized the extent of the threat to the Haitian economy and recognized that the situation is critical and promised to act each in its respective sector. A huge challenge because they have to do in weeks what has not been done in recent years... For Gregory Brandt, Chairman of the Economic Forum, there is no time to lose, as the Minister of justice he affirms that the Government is already working to the strengthening of measures.

Recall that this is the second time in less than 4 years that Haiti is under the pressure of financial threat, the last time it was for the ratification of the law penalizing transnational fraud [money laundering and terrorist financing] , filed by the Ministry of justice in July 2012, which was finally passed by the Senate on February 28, 2013 and by the Chamber of deputies on September 9, 2013. Haiti having avoided being classified as a non-cooperative country thanks to a moratorium and a succession of extension of delay... https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-8791-haiti-economy-d-1-before-the-end-of-the-moratorium-the-country-sanctioned-soon.html

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