Two days after the Opposition slammed moves taken by several local insurance companies here to request from applicants their political affiliation, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has noted that this should not form part of any requirement and was a total misunderstanding.FIU Director Matthew LangevineFIU Director Matthew Langevine said the policy may be misguided based on provisions for the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). A PEP is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an individual who is or has been entrusted with a prominent public function and owing to their position, has some influence.Langevine said, “It is not intended to work by these reporting entities asking you about your political affiliation.” While explaining that each insurance company is expected to use its discretion to identify PEPs, he said the move to ask everyone their political affiliation was reckless.“Persons will give information that could be misleading. So, it is not for you (insurance companies) to go questioning every single person whether they are politically exposed or not. You are supposed to make that determination based on your knowledge of the office that that person may hold,” Langevine stated.The FIU Head also stated that these companies should be guided Recommendation 12 from the FATF, the global body which sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats. The AML/CFT Act of 2009 has risk management systems in place to determine whether a customer is a PEP.On that note, Langevine noted that the regulations do not apply to any customer. The FIU, he said, has already been asked by the Bank of Guyana to meet with insurance companies to discuss the issue and clarify how their due diligence should be conducted within the right framework.Langevine said the intention was not to place additional burden on customers of different entities, including insurance companies. Instead, it should be implemented within the context of addressing the issue, understanding the nature of transactions being done by these PEPs.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was the first to speak out on this issue when it noted that almost all insurance companies have included on their application forms a query about political affiliation. The Party has since urged Government to take action to reverse what it described as a “retrograde move”.The PPP/C said that Article 149 (2) specifically protects all Guyanese citizens from discrimination on many grounds, including “political opinion, conscience and belief”. Article 147 also guarantees citizens’ right to freedom of association, the right to belong and form political parties.“Therefore, any request for one’s political affiliation would be in violation of these Articles of the Constitution. In addition, S18 of the 1998 Prevention of Discrimination Act, which specifically addresses ‘Application forms, etc’, states that it is unlawful for a person to request or require any other person to provide information relative to their political opinions.”As such, the PPP/C has urged Government, the insurance companies in question, and related entities, to disclose if this was a new policy, under what statute has it been implemented, and why there has been no public announcement of this new requirement.Attorney and political analyst Christopher Ram has also described the move as unconstitutional. While not commenting specifically on the Opposition’s arguments, Ram said that it was absurd that any insurance company or banking institution should be given that authority.“The thing about Politically Exposed Persons is a question of definition and it’s persons who hold positions in political parties and so on. A member of a political party isn’t automatically a PEP,” he said.When asked whether there was need for a further amendment to the Act, the Attorney said that the question should be asked whether that was necessary or it was being badly applied.Refusing a business relationship with a PEP simply based on the determination that the client is a PEP is contrary to the letter and spirit of Recommendation 12. The PPP/C contends that this definition does not refer to nor require any citizen to state their political party affiliation.
0Shares0000New Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti (right) watched the Toffees 0-0 draw with Arsenal © AFP / Paul ELLISLiverpool, United Kingdom, Dec 21 – Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta were shown the huge jobs that lie ahead as managers of Everton and Arsenal respectively as they watched their new sides play out a drab 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday.Ancelotti was confirmed as the Toffees new boss on the morning of the match, 24 hours after Arteta took charge of Arsenal. Both new managers were in the stands with Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge for the final time.And the lack of confidence of two sides struggling at the wrong end of the table was obvious in a match completely devoid of quality.A point edges Arsenal into ninth, but the Gunners have now won just once in their last 13 games in all competitions.Everton move up to 15th, but are only four points clear of the relegation zone.Ferguson’s role in Everton’s impressive victory over Chelsea and draw at Manchester United in their last two league games was enough to ensure the temperamental Scot a role in Ancelotti’s backroom staff.However, there was a dramatic dip in his side’s energy levels as they looked jaded after a League Cup quarter-final defeat on penalties to Leicester in midweek.“The boys were on their last legs to be honest after working so hard in the last three games,” admitted Ferguson. “We still covered every blade of grass, we just lacked a bit of quality in the final third.”Ljungberg named a youthful Arsenal side with 19-year-old Emile Smith Rowe starting for the first time in the Premier League alongside Reiss Nelson and teenagers Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe were among those left out by the Swede, who won just one of his six matches in caretaker charge.“We had a very young side out there because I wanted energy and I wanted to give them chances,” said Ljungberg.“I thought we could have won the game with the chances we had, but I loved the spirit we saw and that’s what you need in the Premier League.”Unlike Ferguson, Ljungberg’s future under Arteta has not been clarified, but he hopes to remain as part of the coaching staff.“I’ve been told by the club they want me to stay but I will have a meeting with Mikel tomorrow and hopefully it’s a good one.”– Substituting a substitute –Neither side managed a shot on target before the break, but Arsenal had the better chances in the second half.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was denied by a fine save from Jordan Pickford as he pounced on Callum Chambers’s flick on from a corner before the Gunners’ captain fired too close to the England number one with his next effort.Ljungberg’s final decision of his caretaker spell was a brave one as he replaced Aubameyang 13 minutes from time as Lacazette was finally called on from the bench.However, the focus was again snatched by Ferguson’s substitutions as for the second straight week he replaced a substitute.Moise Kean was the victim of his impatience at Old Trafford last weekend as the Italian international was hooked after just 18 minutes.This time it was Kean who was introduced for Cenk Tosun, who had come on early in the game for the injured Alex Iwobi.But Kean could not make himself a hero by scoring his first Everton goal as Arsenal held out for a first clean sheet in 15 games.0Shares0000(Visited 14 times, 2 visits today)