The Financial Obligations Regulations 2010, as amended (the FOR) names the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (the Central Bank) as a Supervisory Authority for the financial institutions that it regulates. As such, the Central Bank is responsible for ensuring that licensed institutions under the Financial Institutions Act 2008, registrants under the Insurance Act Chap 84:01, the Home Mortgage Bank Act Chap 78:08, bureaux de change, and money remittance businesses comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislative and regulatory requirements. In addition, as part of its regulatory function, the Central Bank issues Guidelines and Circular letters which provide guidance to the industry in respect of anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism on processes, systems and other practices to ensure compliance with the legislation.
The Central Bank also contributes to national initiatives in the fight against money laundering through its participation on the National Committee on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and in making technical presentations on the legislation at various conferences and workshops held locally, with AML/ CFT legislative and regulatory requirements.
The Central Bank is one of three named Supervisory Authorities in the FOR. The two other Supervisory Authorities are the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission ( the TTSEC) for financial entities registered under the Securities Act and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (the FIU) for listed businesses and other financial institutions not regulated by the Central Bank or the TTSEC. The three Supervisory Authorities in order to carry out their mandate effectively must cooperate and share information with each other to the extent that their laws permit. As such, the Central Bank has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the TTSEC and the FIU to establish a formal basis of cooperating and information exchange between the Authorities in areas of common interest, and in particular with regard to the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. The respective MOUs are shown below:
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognized as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is an organization of twenty-nine jurisdictions of the Caribbean Region, which have agreed to implement the FATF Recommendations.
In order to protect the international financial system from money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT) risks and to encourage greater compliance with the AML/CFT standards, the FATF and CFATF periodically issue public statements identifying and providing updates on jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regimes.
Financial institutions should take the public statements into account when considering whether a transaction should be reported to the FIU as a suspicious activity or transaction. Financial institutions should also consider the public statements when doing business with customers based in, or connected to the jurisdictions listed in the statements.