Companies that make or receive international transfers for amounts of over $50,000 per transaction will have to indicate the origin of the funds.
Banking entities have reached an agreement to amend theSelf-RegulationRulesfor Monitoring of International Transfers to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The amendment was approved in October 2016, and banks will have to start implementing the new measures in January this year.
In Costa Rica several banks expressed their disagreement with the new standard which will prevent them from deciding how much of their capital will be denominated in dollars and how much in colones.
In an attempt to gain more control of the risk involved in foreign exchange transactions by banks and their impact on the exchange rate, the Central Bank has changed therules for foreign exchange cash operations, forcing banks to change the composition of their assets so that the proportion denominated in dollars is equal to the proportion of assets in that currency.
Last year 1,533 banking operations were reported to have characteristics signalling them as possibly relating to money laundering.
Greater emphasis on controls on transactions carried out by banks is the main reason why the number of transactions reported as unusual has increased.Of the 1,533 transactions reported last year, 89 ended in complaints to the public prosecutor.
Amendments to the law on the financial system include changes to the conditions which must be present in order for an order to be issued for the forced liquidation of an institution.
From a statement issued by the National Congress:
The National Congress approved on Thursday, in the third and final debate, several articles of the decree containing the amendments to the Law on Financial Institutions, which aims to bring legislation into line with international standards and prevent banks from having problems which could lead to a forced liquidation, as recently happened with Continental Bank, through an early and timely action by the supervisory body, preventing savers or account holders from being affected.
In the first nine months of the year 1046 banking transactions were reported to have had characteristics of being possibly related to money laundering.
Data from the Superintendency of Banks in Guatemala indicates that 1046 reports were submitted, worth $400 million between January and September this year.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "...This year the number of reports increased by 25 percent, as in September 2015 only $100 million had been reported as suspicious transactions.The Superintendent indicated that this change is due to the "conscience" acquired by citizens, who are reporting more of these actions related to money laundering."Unusual situations that can not be explained by customers, become suspicious transaction and are reported," said the head of the SIB.
The Financial Regulator of New York has fined the Taiwanese company Mega International Commercial Bank $180 million, citing irregular transactions in its operations between Panama and New York.
The Bank of Taiwanese origin, with global assets worth more than $100 billion, operating in Panama since 1974, violated rules of prevention and control of money laundering when performing certain "suspicious" transactions between the bank in New York and branches in Panama City and the Colon Free Zone.
The maximum amount allowed for banking transactions in cash in foreign and national currency has been lowered from $10,000 to $4,000.
From a resolution by the Central Bank of Honduras:
For purposes of the application of Articles 8, 12, 23 and 25 and in compliance with the provisions of Article 86 of the Special Law against Money Laundering the following amounts have been established:
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