JAMAICA HAS been added to the European Union’s (EU) blacklist of countries that have been accused of being too soft on money laundering, but Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke is pushing back against the characterisation.
“It is not good news that the European Union blacklisted Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas,” Clarke said yesterday as he weighed in on the issue.
Back in February, Jamaica was among seven countries that were placed on a grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for gaps or failures in stemming the financing of terrorist groups or money laundering.
The finance minister said that Jamaica ended up on the list because FATF has focused on countries where the economy’s size is above a certain threshold – having US$5 billion of financial assets using a monetary measure known as M2.
“In 2019, FATF arbitrarily changed this measure to what is known as M3, which is a broader measure of the economy. This arbitrary change meant that, for the first time, Jamaica exceeded the US$5 billion threshold, which meant Jamaica would be included in the list of countries that FATF would focus on and monitor, a process known as ‘greylisting’,” he said.