In what must be the worst attempt at restoring public confidence in a broken legal system that we have seen in many years, an unknown Panamanian government agency has proposed to hereafter make all anti-money laundering sanctions, imposed upon banks and insurance companies, public. Is this the first salvo from the country's newly-hired public relations experts ? If so, it will not convince Panama watchers one bit, regarding reform of the country's nonfunctional anti-money laundering structure.
The entity, the National Committee against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was formed last year, which announced the proposal, has an empty track record, and is regarded by Panamanians in the financial services business as a bad joke, has no record of enforcing Panama's universally ignored AML/CFT laws. In truth and in fact, no bank gets charged with money laundering in Panama City, so there's not much information to make public.
This little exercise in "transparency" is little more than a press release, and one which will not be taken seriously by the financial world; the Superintendent of Banking, and the Superintendent of Insurance and Reinsurance will kindly take note. After the Panama Papers, superficial steps simply will be laughed at, as future potential clients look elsewhere.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock
Chronicles of Monte Friesner