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Caribbean Netherlands: companies need to prepare for changed rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing

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The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) (BES Islands) Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme BES, Wwft BES) is changing in several respects to bring it in line with the European Dutch Wwft. The changes are expected to take effect on 1 July 2021. The AFM calls on life insurance brokers to prepare for the changes to the rules in good time.

The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) (BES Islands) Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme BES, Wwft BES) is changing in several respects to bring it in line with the European Dutch Wwft. The changes are expected to take effect on 1 July 2021. The AFM calls on life insurance brokers to prepare for the changes to the rules in good time.

The Wwft BES is to be drastically amended. The main changes are listed below:

  • There will be new obligations regarding the preparation of a risk assessment, policy, procedures and codes of conduct
  • Persons in charge of day-to-day policy will have to complete mandatory training (to the extent relevant to the performance of their duties)
  • The definition of a ‘politically exposed person’ (PEP) will be broadened
  • Life insurance brokers will no longer be able to rely on a simplified client due diligence procedure as standard. When the revised Wwft BES takes effect, they will also have to check that existing clients meet the requirements of the new legislation. This could mean, for instance, that the service provider will have to obtain further information on the client or the client’s ultimate beneficial owners.

How you can prepare?

You can already prepare for the changes by reading the legal texts and the associated explanatory memorandum, so that you can verify ahead of time which measures you need to take in order to comply with the new requirements on 1 July 2021. The AFM will amend its Wwft BES manual in the first six months of next year. We will notify you of this by means of a newsletter.

Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing

The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is a priority for the AFM. The Wwft BES lays down regulations with which life insurance brokers on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES islands) must comply. These requirements are vital to preventing the abuse of the financial system on the BES islands for money laundering and terrorist financing. Life insurance brokers on the BES islands have a gate-keeping role in this respect.

If you have specific questions about this issue

We understand that you may have questions about these changes and the consequences for the provision of your services. The AFM invites service providers to contact it with any questions they have. You can send an email to bes@afm.nl.

The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets.

As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.

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