The conclusion of an air services agreement and the European Union’s labelling of Barbados’ as a blacklisted jurisdiction were among matters discussed when French Ambassador Jacques-Henry Heuls, paid a courtesy call on Attorney General, Dale Marshall.
During the call at the Office of the Attorney General, Wildey, St. Michael, yesterday, Wednesday, July 22, Mr. Marshall told the Ambassador that the country had taken steps to address any deficiencies identified and was in the process of taking corrective measures such as the hiring of additional judges.
The AG added that when countries were blacklisted, banks and other financial institutions were reluctant to do business with those on the list.
Mr. Marshall contended: “The optics of putting a country on a blacklist is quite stark and compelling. As long as you are blacklisted, banks and other institutions simply do not want to do business with you. Barbados has recognised that we have some deficiencies. We have committed to dealing with those deficiencies.
“We have invested a large amount of our national resources to dealing with those deficiencies including the appointment of additional judges and we are working toward the agreed timeline with the Financial Action Task Force of April 2022 to come off the FATF list. But the FATF is not a blacklist and I think that is the fundamental problem. The FATF just describes Barbados as a jurisdiction of increased monitoring and that in itself is unfortunate…”
In order to deal with the blacklisting, Ambassador Heuls suggested that Barbados set up a team of local and international law specialists to handle the requests from the OECD and the FATF.
“Some of the islands such as Antigua and St. Kitts have done this so I think it is possible. This would help Barbados to pass easily from the blacklist to the grey list and afterwards have more time to work with those institutions and specialists and get a good result,’’ the Ambassador suggested.
Barbados and France established diplomatic ties on May 3, 1968.