The Group of Financial Services Regulators (GFSR) facilitates information sharing between domestic and foreign financial services regulators and provides a forum to discuss issues faced by regulators in the domestic financial sector.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas (the Bank), is mandated to promote and maintain monetary stability and balance of payments conditions, conducive to the orderly development of the economy; in collaboration with other financial institutions, to promote and maintain adequate banking services and high standards of conduct and management therein; and to advise the Minister of Finance on any matter of a financial or monetary nature referred by [the Minister] to the Bank for its advice.
The Bank’s objective is to promote and maintain the safety, soundness, and integrity of the Bahamian banking and financial system and of each institution within the system; while promoting confidence in the financial system through the implementation of policies and standards that are in keeping with international best practices for supervision and regulation. One of the key responsibilities of the Bank is to provide Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) supervision of its supervised financial institutions inclusive of conducting onsite examinations, risk assessments and ensuring compliance with AML/CFT regulations and guidelines. The Bank is responsible for the regulation and supervision of banks, trust companies, co-operative credit unions and money transmission businesses.
The Compliance Commission is an independent statutory body established as the Anti-Money Laundering Regulatory Authority for non-traditional financial institutions, for example law firms, accounting firms, real estate brokers, credit unions, etc. Although it is an independent agency, the Compliance Commission falls within the responsibility of the Minister of Finance. The Compliance Commission’s regulatory oversight primarily involves the registration of our constituent financial institutions, on-site examinations and Anti-Money Laundering training. The Compliance Commission is also responsible for enforcing compliance with the anti-money laundering rules and regulations found in the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, 2000(FTRA); the Financial Transactions Reporting Regulations, 2000; and the Financial Intelligence (Transactions Reporting) Regulations 2001, by designated financial institutions which are not otherwise regulated for this purpose.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is responsible for receiving, analysing, obtaining and disseminating information that relates to or may relate to proceeds of crime in an effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Its target audience is Financial Institutions as defined by the Financial Transaction Reporting Act (FTRA), the regulatory bodies for all financial institutions, and the general public at large. Any individual concerned with combating proceeds of crime as dictated by the Proceeds of Crime Act, while detecting criminal activity relating to money laundering and terrorist financing can approach the FIU.
In its regulatory role, the FIU is responsible for receiving, analysing, obtaining and, in defined circumstances, dissemination of information, which relates to or may relate to the proceeds of offences specified in the Second Schedule of the Proceeds of Crime Act. The FIU is fully committed to the Egmont Group’s “Statement of Purpose” which incorporates “Principles for Information Exchange Between Financial Intelligence Units for Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Cases.”
In accordance with The Gaming Act, The Bahamas authorizes, and the Gaming Board for the Bahamas (the Gaming Board) regulates, two distinct gaming sectors, a tourist based commercial casino sector and a domestic sector offering a hybrid form of Internet gaming pursuant to which domestic players may engage in an account based, direct online experience or game interactively in an account based, bricks and mortar gaming house (previously referred to as a web shop). Gaming Licensees and Gaming House Operator Licensees offer both international and domestic players a full range of casino, lottery and sports wagering options that are subject to nearly identical regulatory requirements. Operators in both sectors are subject to probity investigations that meaningfully establish their eligibility from a good character, honesty, integrity, and financial stability perspective to participate in this highly regulated industry. Likewise, all control program components of the games operated in either sector are required to be tested and certified for fairness, accuracy and auditability by world-renowned independent testing laboratories against technical standards that are among the most robust in the world. The Gaming Board is responsible for “protecting the integrity of the gaming industry by keeping it free from the influences of organized crime by assuring the honesty, good character and integrity of casino operators and employees, and to ensure that gaming is conducted.
The Insurance Commission of The Bahamas (the Insurance Commission) was established as a body corporate, under the Insurance Act, 2005 (the Act) of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and commenced operations on July 2, 2009. The functions of the Insurance Commission include:
• Surveillance over the insurance market;
• Promotion of sound and prudent insurance management and business practices;
• Advising the Minister responsible for insurance matters regarding the insurance market; and
• Ensuring that licensees comply with:
◦ the provisions of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act and
◦ other Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism legislation.
The Insurance Commission’s mandate is to protect the interests of the insuring public through the prudential supervision of the insurance industry operating in and from within The Bahamas. The Insurance Commission is committed to strengthening the protection given to policyholders under the Act and the continuous and consistent review of existing legislation to improve the overall efficiency of the jurisdiction.
The Insurance Commission is an active member of The Bahamas’ National AML/CFT Task Force and other regional and international bodies including the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, Caribbean Association of Insurance Regulators, and the Group of International Insurance Centre Supervisors.
The Securities Commission of The Bahamas (the Securities Commission) is a statutory body and its mandate is defined in the Securities Industry Act, 2011 (SIA, 2011). The Securities Commission is responsible for the administration of the SIA, 2011 and the Investment Funds Act, 2003 (the IFA), which provides for the supervision and regulation of the activities of the investment funds, securities and capital markets. The Securities Commission, having been appointed Inspector of Financial and Corporate Services effective 1 January 2008, is also responsible for administering the Financial and Corporate Service Providers Act, 2000. The Securities Commission’s mission is to effectively oversee and regulate the activities of the investment funds, securities and capital markets, to protect the investors while strengthening the public and institutional confidence in the integrity of those markets.
The Commission’s mandate is to formulate principles to regulate and govern investment funds, securities and capital markets; maintain surveillance over investment funds, securities and capital markets ensuring orderly, fair and equitable dealings; create and promote conditions to ensure orderly growth and development of capital markets; and to advise the Minister of Finance regarding investment funds, securities and capital markets.