Panama Banking and Greylisting

"It is imperative that banks have the necessary controls that enable them to timely detect suspicious money laundering activities."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The new president of the Banking Association of Panama (ABP) is proposing the creation and implementation of a Code of Conduct for unionized entities, similar to what exists for other banking associations in the region.

The new president Jaime Moreno told that "... If it is necessary to improve or extend the controls, banks must do it. We do not want to face what has happened in other countries, where millions of dollars in fines have been imposed because of failures in the processes of detection of suspicious activities. We need to have the tools that allow us to reduce the risks, and for the necessary rules to be adopted, the necessary institutions and appropriate processes established and especially for action to be taken by both the police, and justice system. "

In regards to being on the gray list of the FATF, Moreno said "... It is not necessarily the greatest threat, but obviously it is a distinction that does do us any favors. Actually it is about the country's image, so it is the country, not banks or any particular sector, but the country and its institutions, some obviously private, but mostly public, which are in the limelight and should be addressed urgently, such as the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) and the flaws in the judicial system, about which it is stated in the reports of the IMF does not even possess statistics. "

More on this topic

Panama is Back on the Gray List

June 2019

The Panamanian business sector assures that the efforts and results that have been achieved in such a short time have not been recognized by the FATF, which decided to put the country back on its gray list.

Although at the beginning of the year efforts were made in the country to improve controls in relation to tax evasion, as in the case of the approval by the National Assembly of the bill criminalizing tax evasion, when the amount defrauded in a fiscal period of one year is equal to or greater than $300,000, it was not enough for the country to return to the FATF grey list.

Panama: Now Facing Consequences for Being "Gray"

February 2015

Banks struggling to keep their correspondents and restrictions for Panamanian companies in the external financial market, are some of the consequences of being on the FATF's gray list.

The Panamanian government expects to submit, within the next month, a bill to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, which seeks to control the vast majority of economic activities by requiring additional controls to those which do not have increased supervision. With this measure they hope to get off the gray list and meet the deadline set by the Financial Action Group, which expires in June.

Panama: New Law on Prevention of Money Laundering

December 2014

A bill which is to be submitted to the National Assembly in February establishes an obligation to report suspicious activities which are not specifically financial.

This initiative is part of the package agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to strengthen legislation against money laundering and exit so called "greylists". It is expected that an updated legal structure will be in place by June 2015.

Impact of the Panama-Colombia Agreement

October 2014

The agreement for Panama not to feature in Colombia's gray list establishes a deadline of one year for the signing of an agreement on double taxation and exchange of financial information, and is a sign that sooner rather than later, the Panamanian corporate and financial center will lose their comparative advantages.


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