The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was established and is governed by the Financial Intelligence Unit Act, 2000. The FIU is a pivotal part of The Bahamas’ anti-money laundering (AML), terrorist financing (TF) and proliferation financing (PF) regime, and as such the Unit adheres to the compendium of laws and regulations associated thereto.
Consequent to the blacklisting of The Bahamas in 2000, the jurisdiction has consistently showed its commitment to combatting money laundering and later terrorism by passing the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTRA), and the Financial Intelligence Unit Act (FIUA) all in December 2000. Since the introduction of these relevant pieces of legislation, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) introduced new standards and a methodology on the manner in which jurisdictions are evaluated on its AML/CFT/CPF regime.
As a result of The Bahamas’ 2015 Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Mutual Evaluation, the report of which was released in 2017, the legislators again found themselves in a position of having to reevaluate the technical aspects of the AML/CFT/CPF legislation to ensure that it was in keeping with the global standards set by FATF.
Subsequently the laws and regulations relative to the AML/CFT/CPF regime were repealed and replaced with laws and regulations that now meet the FATF standards. Most of the significant changes occurred in 2018. However, as money launders and terrorist financiers evolve with the need to circumvent these laws and regulations so must the laws and regulations evolve to continuously meet the ever-changing global environment, to protect the jurisdiction against money laundering, terrorism related offences and proliferation financing. Consequently, the laws, regulations and policies continue to be amended to further strengthen the legislation and to regulate new and emerging trends.