Bermuda is among the best jurisdictions in the world in terms of its laws and regulations around anti money laundering (AML), according to Bermuda premier David Burt.
Speaking at the Bermuda Executive Forum in London this week, ahead of the completion of an EU review into AML and other regulatory issues on the island, Burt said: “Bermuda has incredibly high standards and it is my complete expectation that those high standards will be confirmed at the end of this review. And I expect that from a compliance rating, Bermuda’s standard of laws and regulations around anti money laundering will be remarked on as one of the best, if not the best, in the world.”
Burt predicted the publication of Bermuda’s ratings will show the world that Bermuda “is not a jurisdiction where you go to get away with financial crime.” He assured forum attendees Bermuda is “serious about being an extraordinary country in which to do business,” insisting his government “has spent an incredible amount of time working on this.”
Other speakers echoed this upbeat message. Dominic Thomas-James, a senior research fellow at the Centre for International Documentation on Organised and Economic Crime in Cambridge in the UK, described Bermuda as “a leading jurisdiction, particularly in the context of responding to standards to tackle financial crime”.
Thomas-James added: “Once you have that ability and professional infrastructure it allows you the ability to comply with international standards in so far as they may be suitable. It becomes a lot easier, and it’s something that a lot of other smaller jurisdictions, which specialise in off-shore financial services and sophisticated businesses services, have difficulty with.”
PwC Carribean’s regional markets leader, insurance leader and Bermuda territory leader Arthur Wightman said Bermuda has shown leadership in regulation and innovation, praising its role as a technology incubator and entrepreneurial centre on the world stage.
Robert Childs, non executive director at Hiscox, said Bermuda had been ahead of other jurisdictions in accommodating ILS business, which is why he started doing business there more than a decade ago.
In March Bermuda was temporarily placed on the EU’s blacklist of “non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters” after it missed an EU compliance deadline. The EU blacklist names countries it deems fall short of expected standards in governance and tax compliance. It was removed from the blacklist in May but remains on a greylist, meaning it is still under some scrutiny.
David Burt, Bermuda Executive Forum, Thomas-James, Centre for International Documentation on Organised and Economic Crime, PwC, Arthur Wightman, Hiscox