Bahamas Prime Minister Announces Willingness to Conclude Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the U.S. and Other Enforcement Measures

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Sunday, October 1, 2000
Bruce Zagaris
On August 16, 2000, in an abrupt change of policy Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham announced his Government would take a series of steps to respond to the blacklisting of his country on three lists by the international community, including negotiating a tax information exchange agreement with the U.S. With respect to strengthening international tax cooperation, Prime Minister Ingraham announced that all major banks and trust companies with which he has met have reiterated their longstanding position to the Bahamas Government that they have no U.S. clients who have not signed waivers allowing disclosures to authorities of the Internal Revenue Service and that their “know your customer” policies are ones required by their parent institutions in OECD countries that fully meet OECD requirements. Prime Minister Ingraham continued that the Bahamas Government “has no interest and no intention of burdening our financial services sector with requirements which will put it at a disadvantage vis-a-vis other international financial centers, be they offshore or onshore.” Hence, the Bahamas will not adopt or implement standards that are not implemented in OECD financial centers, and will continue to resist any attempt by the OECD and the FATF to that end.”...[more]