Panama hopes to get out of the gray list of the International Financial Action Group (FATF) due to deficiencies in the fight against money laundering in the 2022 review, when the country will be able to present to that body the progress made in various areas in terms of regulation and compliance.
This was pointed out by the Director of Regulation of the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP), Ana Raquel Velasco, who considers that Panama, in what corresponds to the financial sector, the adequacy of the regulations and their implementation has been qualified, in its great Most, as long-standing, which includes the regulation of the sending of remittances and the penalization of the exercise of this activity illegally.
“All the accusations made by Gafi, particularly the exercise of illegal remittances that are in the role of SBP, have already been described by the evaluator as having long been complied with by Panama,” Velasco told the media, referring to the actions that the institutions have given to combat money laundering and comply with other requirements.
Despite the progress, Ana Raquel Velasco, points out that great challenges persist for Panama, but no longer in the sphere of the financial sector, but in the non-financial sector.
In this regard, it stands out that the identification of the final beneficiaries of the public limited companies is already carried out by the banking entities in the country, but now the challenge is the implementation and effectiveness of everything that has been established in the legal frameworks approved in in recent years with a view to strengthening the fight against money laundering.
Velasco stressed that the next meeting to review Gafi to the country will be in January 2022, prior to the February plenary session, and a statement is expected from the evaluators in order to advance the agenda that the country needs to implement in order to be excluded as a country from the agency’s gray list.