KINGSTON – World Bank Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, Marie Lucie-Morin, has stressed the need for collaboration between private and public sector stakeholders in the Caribbean, to ensure effective enforcement of the regulatory regimes governing remittance transfers.
This, she contends, is necessary to achieve an efficient and secure flow of remittances into the region, by mitigating factors which could negatively impact this process, citing money laundering as an example.
Speaking at a Caribbean Remittance Forum at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on March 24,
Mrs. Morin noted the “good access to formal financial services” by individuals in countries having strong and effective anti-money laundering regulatory regimes, pointing to Jamaica as an example.
“Jamaica has a rigorous licensing regime, and the Central Bank, as the regulator of the industry, has published comprehensive guidance procedures for operators, describing regulatory obligations. Combating money laundering and the financing of criminal activities does require the reporting of any suspicious transaction to the Financial Intelligence Unit in Jamaica,” she informed.
The Executive Director said the World Bank has indicated that Jamaica’s remittance service market has become “increasingly transparent and competitive”. She also noted significant reductions in the cost of remittance transfers to Jamaica. Citing the cost of remittances sent from Canada to Jamaica, Mrs. Morin said this had decreased from between 10 and 15 per cent for a typical remittance transfer a few years ago, to between 2.5 and 5 per cent of the sum forwarded.
Mrs. Morin expressed the hope that the two-day forum would facilitate discussions and examination of the remittance transfer regulatory systems, to help determine best practices for the sector.
Jointly organised by the UWI, World Bank, and Canadian Government, the forum, which concludes, on March 25, aims to share knowledge and generate policy dialogue among relevant remittance stakeholders to enhance the efficiency and integrity of the migration and remittance transfer process, through effective regulatory and supervisory systems in the Caribbean.
Over 20 representatives from 13 Caribbean, North and Central American countries are attending the forum, being held under the theme: Enhancing the Efficiency and Integrity of Remittance Transfers through Effective Regulatory and Supervisory Systems in the Caribbean’.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter