Nine Acts to be amended, MP warns death of banking sector

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for St George is again warning that a recently debated draft law compelling corporate entities to declare their true owners is part of an increasingly stringent regime of “undue surveillance” by world powers.
Dean Jonas, alongside others, made the argument in Parliament this week when the Law Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2017 was debated but he is of the view that their objections to the Bill have been misconstrued as opposition to transparency.
Speaking to OBSERVER media yesterday, the MP said, “It has nothing to do with transparency locally – the information was not for local consumption.”
According to the Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin when
he spoke in Parliament this week, the amendments being made are in
keeping with recommendations of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which he said is sending a team to Antigua in June.
Jonas has since asked, “Why do they want to know all of that information?” and declared, “There is no terrorism in the Caribbean. Many of my colleagues who passed this bill were simply afraid that we could be blacklisted if we don’t comply.
“This is something started under the Obama administration – it is not recent. It is the increasing surveillance of our business and our accounts.”
According to him, the information to be collected by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) is for the benefit of international regulators and authorities. An inspection of an updated version of the Law Miscellaneous (Amendments) Bill 2017 has revealed that it imposes the new requirement to declare beneficial ownership in a company into a total of nine existing Acts.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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