Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism
With the insurance sector being a part of the overall financial sector, it is required to observe the FATF 40 Recommendations on Anti-money laundering and Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT). The sector is supervised for AML/CFT under the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act.
OSIPP, as the Supervisor of the insurance sector participated in the National Risk Assessment (NRA) conducted by the Financial Intelligence Unit in 2016 and now being taking part in that updated NRA exercise in 2023.
The NRA in being conducted using the World Bank’s NRA methodology which maps the money laundering threat rating and the money laundering vulnerability rating on a risk map. The insurance sector were consulted during the first NRA exercise and are being consulted more for this most recent NRA set to conclude in April 2023.
In 2016, the country’s overall money laundering risk was rated as medium high. Specifically, to the insurance sector for the period 2011-2016 the domestic insurance sector in Belize is assessed to have a medium-low level of ML vulnerability while the international insurance sector is assessed to have a medium level of ML vulnerability. That rating is expected to improve overall as a sector.
All OSIPP staff have participated in AML/CFT training, with some staff participating in training along with the FIU under technical assistance programs offered to Belize. The Insurance industry from 2017 to present have contracted external presenters to provide training to the insurance sector and inviting other financial sectors to participate in the training via the compliance officers.
As part of the agents licensing requirement, the agents must demonstrate having taken an AML/CFT training session at least every to two years. Some companies have made it mandatory for staff and agents to participate in at least one AML/CFT training on an annual basis. Most recently, all workers and staff are urged to get AML/CFT training frequently.