(Update Issue Number 8 Autumn/Winter 1996)
Two recent events further illustrate Guernsey's determination to be a serious participant in the international battle against money laundering.
The first was a two-day visit, at the invitation of the Commission, of Stanley E. Morris, Director of the Financial Crime Enforcement Network in the USA 'FinCEN', as it is known, is the arm of the US Treasury designated to fight money laundering. Its prime responsibility is to set, oversee and implement policies to prevent and detect money laundering in the USA and to administer the Bank Secrecy Act.
Mr Morris met HE the Lieutenant Governor and the Deputy Bailiff, visited several banks and attended meetings at the Commission. He says: 'My visit has greatly increased my knowledge of the Island, the progress being made towards combating money laundering and the challenges it faces.'
The second event was a money laundering conference when the principal speakers were Michael Highland and Sue Thornhill. Mr Highland is a well- known UK consultant on money laundering training and Sue Thornhill, his wife, is Assistant Director, British Bankers' Association and secretary of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group, chaired by the Bank of England.
In her presentation, she said: 'Money laundering is here to stay and likewise the need for continued action. No financial centre can afford to be less than absolutely firm in its resolve. The Guernsey FSC is already working hard to create a level playing field where no one institution can be placed at a competitive disadvantage from operating to the highest standards that money laundering prevention requires. But the financial institutions have an even bigger part to play as the vital component in the fight against money laundering and, hence, in preserving the integrity of Guernsey. Without their goodwill and co-operation the FSC's measures will fail.'
Footnote: The news that the government and Central Bank of the Seychelles have abandoned a proposed Economic Development Act has been welcomed by the Commission.
The abandonment followed widespread condemnation from many jurisdictions. Critics dubbed the Act, part of which offered diplomatic status to those making substantial investments in the Seychelles, 'a charter for money launderers'.
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