CBG reaffirms resolve to implement robust anti-money laundering

Jul 10, 2024, 10:27 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan 

Buah Saidy, the governor of Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has reaffirmed the bank's commitment to effective implementation of robust anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism measures.

This move is designed to strengthen the country's Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

Mr. Saidy’s statement was read by Babucarr Cham, director of Human Resources at CBG at the opening ceremony of West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) five day training on Regional Course on Combating Money Laundering and other Financial Crimes held at a local hotel in Banjul.

The CBG governor said the growth of organised crime and its negative impact on financial systems is alarming, noting that criminals employ more sophisticated methods to exploit vulnerabilities in financial systems.

 "Therefore, as regulators, policymakers and enforcers, we must resolve to counter these threats by continuously enhancing our knowledge and skills to effectively combat all forms of financial crimes," he said.

He noted that money laundering has far-reaching adverse consequences on the integrity and soundness of financial systems as well as the broader economy.

"Money laundering could distort economic stability, with the potential to misinform policy decisions. It could create unfair competition in the sense that legitimate businesses struggle to compete with those funded by illicit proceeds of crime," he stated.

Mr. Saidy further said that money laundering also has the potential of undermining investor confidence, due to the perceived risks of operating in a tainted financial environment.

"It could have adverse macroeconomic consequences such as massive funds flow in and out of the country, leading to economic instability, depreciation of local currency and challenges of capital flight," he further stated. 

In June 2022 when The Gambia published Second Round Mutual Evaluation Report, a number of priority and recommended actions were identified for AML/ CFT implementation by stakeholders.

To that end, he said, The Gambia has since commenced work on those priority areas, key among them the amendment of the current AML/CFT Act 2012. 

He said the country is working towards initiating a new AML/CFT legislation and validated a new Bill in 2024 that intends to repeal the current Act.

"With the enactment of this new bill, most of the deficiencies highlighted in the second round mutual evaluation will be addressed," he said.

He added that the CBG has also established an AML/CFT under the Banking Services Department and working closely with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in conducting on-site examinations on financial institutions to ensure the FIU eventually relinquishes the AML/CFT supervision of financial institutions to the unit.