JIS News

The House of Representatives yesterday (January 16), approved a Resolution to designate Insurance Brokers and Insurance Intermediaries as financial institutions for the purpose of the Money Laundering Act.
Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Finance and Planning who moved the Money Laundering (Financial Institutions) (Insurance Brokers and Insurance Intermediaries) Resolution 2006, pointed out that Jamaica was a signatory to the mutual evaluation agreement by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, which assesses, which member countries are compliant with various agreements to minimize the incidence of money laundering.
He added that in April 2005, Jamaica “underwent its mutual evaluation, because the way countries are assessed is that you agree to be examined by other members of the Financial Action Task Force”.
“During that exercise, the framework for money laundering and combating financing of terrorism was examined, to determine whether the regime in Jamaica was consistent with the various recommendations laid down by the financial task force,” said Dr. Davies.
The Minister said that the task force acknowledged that a “great deal of progress has been made by Jamaica towards its fulfillment of its international obligations, but there were certain areas where they could not testify to full compliance as there were additional measures that needed to be implemented”.
He pointed out that one specific area which was identified and which could be corrected very quickly was the requirement that an anti money laundering legislation should apply to all financial institutions, “specifically insurance brokers and insurance intermediaries who are not covered by this legislation”.
The Minister said that by putting Insurance Brokers and Insurance Intermediaries under the Money Laundering Act, it would “eliminate one additional deficiency, which will then seek to put Jamaica further on the road towards compliance with international regulation”.
“As providers of financial services related to insurance, the omission places the insurance sector, which is regulated by the Financial Services Commission, in an unnecessary risky position of being used by brokers and intermediaries to facilitate the laundering of the proceeds of any money laundering activities,” explained Dr. Davies.