Video: Premier David Burt’s Press Conference

July 27, 2017 | 47 Comments

Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt held a press conference this afternoon [July 27], where he announced that “the Government will be making it a national priority to prepare Bermuda for an upcoming assessment that is of critical importance to our country’s economic future.”

The press conference has just concluded and we will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the 15-minute live video replay is below.

Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt Remarks:

Good afternoon members of the media and Bermuda.

These are fast-moving times, and this Government is committed to ensuring Bermuda keeps up. We have hit the ground running and intend to maintain that momentum.

I have promised regular updates on the Government’s plans as we progress our agenda for a better and fairer Bermuda and this is why I stand before you today.

In order to provide jobs for Bermudians and ensure that all of Bermuda prospers, not just one segment, we must focus on the economy.

To that end, I am announcing that the Government will be making it a national priority to prepare Bermuda for an upcoming assessment that is of critical importance to our country’s economic future.

Starting in the spring of 2018, Bermuda will be subject to an evaluation. This evaluation will involve us being measured against the relevant international standards, to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of our laws, systems, and institutional framework for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. As you can tell, this is a highly important evaluation to ensure Bermuda maintains an international reputation for being highly-regulated.

This comprehensive assessment will involve more than a dozen government agencies and a number of entities in the private sector. It will be carried out by a team of assessors under the oversight of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and will be subject to review and ultimate approval by the global network of the relevant international standard setting body, the Financial Action Task Force [FATF].

I cannot emphasise too strongly to everyone on our island the necessity for Bermuda to pass this international examination. Our economic stability and the future of our international business platform could be dependent upon it. Our recognition and understanding of the impact of this initiative has resulted in us taking quick and decisive action. We have already carried out an evaluation of our current state of preparedness for this critical review and we have determined a path forward to refine our efforts to ensure success.

As a result, we are now taking active and aggressive steps to address the ongoing challenge. In the first instance, I have commissioned a Cabinet Committee to provide leadership and oversight to Bermuda’s efforts.

As Premier and Minister of Finance, I will chair this special Committee, which will include the Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs Senator the Hon. Kathy Lightbourne-Simmons JP, the Minister of Home Affairs the Hon. Walton Brown JP MP, the Minister of Economic Development & Tourism the Hon. Jamahl Simmons JP MP and the Minister of National Security the Hon. Wayne Caines JP MP.

To highlight our commitment in this area, we have already scheduled the first meeting of the committee and will continue to meet on a regular basis to assess progress and ensure that timely and effective action continues to be taken.

While we must take leadership on this important initiative, we cannot do this alone. We have already committed to working with all Government agencies and private sector partners.

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee [NAMLC] advises the Government on all matters relating to Anti-Money Laundering / Anti-Terrorist Financing [AML/ATF]. The many agencies that form part of this committee have already demonstrated a high level of commitment in their work in this area, but they need the committed leadership and the direct involvement of Cabinet.

I will be meeting with the members of NAMLC following this press conference to assure them of my personal commitment and that of my Cabinet colleagues and to obtain first hand an even greater understanding of any challenges that they may be facing. We are also meeting with key entities in the private sector to further strengthen the partnership and reinforce the importance of the role that they will need to play.

Although Bermuda already has a comprehensive legislative framework that has been developed and updated over many years, the complexity of the standards against which we are being evaluated mean that there are still some outstanding legislative initiatives that much be progressed.

This is one of the very significant reasons we will be recalling Parliament in early September – to address these and other important matters. In the meantime, work will continue on the effective implementation and evaluation of our current framework.

However, it is important to understand that these matters can have a positive impact not just on our economy but also on the social fabric of our society. It is also an initiative in which all of us can play a role.

We can support the compliance initiatives of Bermudian businesses, as they that they know their customers and protect Bermuda’s financial system from criminal abuse. As we carry out our business activities, we can build our knowledge and understanding of these matters so that we can recognise and report suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing activities to the Financial Intelligence Agency. This is crucial so that appropriate analysis and action can be taken.

As we have highlighted today, having a strong and effective framework to combat money laundering and terrorist financing is important to our island home. It can feel distant and remote to many of our citizens, but the prosperity of Bermuda depends on it, and when Bermuda succeeds and works together, we all have a chance to succeed.

Our regime is already robust and effective, but the international community must have measures by which to acknowledge and recognize this. This is what this assessment is all about. There is much to be done but this Government will do all that we can to ensure that Bermuda achieves the required level of success. For indeed we recognize that failure in this area is not an option if we are to remain the jurisdiction of choice.

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Comments (47)

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  1. Onion says:

    Today: Burt tries to sound impressive without actually doing anything.

    • Eyes wide open says:

      The 24 vs 12 slaughter last week makes you and the rest of the oba/UBP Trolls on here look less impressive. Maybe you should be more concerned why so many didn’t vote for you clowns.

      Regards,
      Green Eyes

      • Onion says:

        Meh. I live in reality, not green vs. red world.

        The OBA did the heavy lifting on this but did it without having a press conference… they just got on with things. Now Burt is trying to look like a Premier by playing one on TV and probably realising he is in for a very hard time with all the challenges facing Bermuda.

        • Truth says:

          HE IS THE PREMIER………

          ….AND THE COMMENT ” Now Burt is trying to look like a Premier” is one of the biggest reason why you fools lost!

          You don’t like people that don’t look like you!!!

          • bdaboy says:

            “You don’t like people that don’t look like you!!!”

            Aww, pumpkin…you’re confused…it’s your plp that said those words.
            please try to be honest, god likes that :)

          • Time to change the name back UBP 100% says:

            They didn’t lose they receive a back hand slap from the people with their UBP talk. What fools they turned out to be. Look like a circus for the last 4 years. Even the air smells better today with the red crew gone. What a joke they turned out to be. BYE BYE LOL

          • David S says:

            Ouch

      • inna says:

        They seem to attract flies like you!

  2. Hope says:

    May I ask why we are being made subject to the evaluation in the first place? Is this a legal or regulatory requirement, or is it something that we are voluntarily complying with? Thanks.

    • Joe King says:

      This was scheduled a long time ago. I’m not sure why we are trying to take credit for this? Many local companies have been already working towards this assessment and as of last check everything was on schedule.

      There’s plenty of other work to get cracking with.

    • hewhoknows says:

      It’s a global audit. Every country that has signed the oecd agreement is being made to do this. It is imperative that BDA passes this test, otherwise, BDA can lose alot of its insurance/financial licenses; on top of not being able to deal in US currency…imagine if that were to happen!

    • rene says:

      Bermuda is being evaluated on it’s adherence to global standards in combating corruption. Dropping civil charges against Lahey et al. would not bode well for Bermuda. So the evaluation must go forward. Burt has to be seen to be meeting a global standard.

      • Let Trevor pay for his own Witch Hunt instead of us tax payers, like we payed for pepper spray court hearings, Commission of Enquiries (Apartheid Court) and Dr. Reedy F!@# up.

        • bdaboy says:

          OJs daily reminder to us that he is terribly stupid.

        • Politricks says:

          Just like the taxpayer paid for the so called ‘overruns’ in the Port Royal and Court House projects…

          You are truly anti-Bermudian with you defense of such foolishness.

    • Iain K says:

      Bermuda is one of 139 member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is a “Policy setting” international organization that sets standards for Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorist Financing. Membership is functionally compulsory for any country wishing to have access to global banking infrastructure. The exam is a mandatory component of membership and all countries including the UK and the US must undergo a review every 5 years. A failure of the exam against the 40 defined criteria may result Global banks reducing or cutting off financial services such as wire transfers which would effectively cripple Bermuda’s economy.

  3. Guy Smiley says:

    Keeps banging on about it being critical. Is that to justify the cost of the committee?

    • Zevon says:

      And the cost of the consultants. Because this lot have no idea how to handle it without help.

  4. Real Onion says:

    plp trying to start a smoke screen for their wrong doings last time.

    would the last sane person to leave the Island kindly switch off the lights.

  5. Irony! says:

    Pretty sure the BMA has known about, and been working towards, the FATF review for a pretty substantial period of time. Why was a press conference necessary?

  6. Rocky5 says:

    This did not happen yesterday. The former Govt had been working on this for a long time. PLP Govt. is quickly finding that governing in the 21st Century is very complex & multi-faceted AND the “Bermuda” that voted them in might get quickly forgotten as “swamp swallows PLP in debt and red tape”….

  7. Rada Gast says:

    Sooooo – not education, as was repeatedly emphasized as being top priority?

    • wahoo says:

      Ed you what?

    • jt says:

      Where are all the complaints about this being money that could have been directed to education?
      I agree with the comment from above from ‘oh dear’. I expect they’re hoping to line up some ducks in an effort to rationalize income tax, in addition to squeezing more out of IB.

      • David S says:

        Well the PLP, OBA or whoever should keep and eye on good honest government – its tough to burry bad government, and bad government leads to no money for education …. just be advise everyone of you politicians are being paid by taxpayers,, this is not volunteer work and not only do the voters expect honesty, so do the courts

  8. Mark says:

    This review and the preparation for it have been going on for years and there are a lot of good people that have been working on this. The plp should just stay out of the way. That group of brainiacs on their “committee” better listen to the experts.

  9. no love says:

    Simply put…Burt needs a committee because he has not a clue what he is doing. Burt math doesn’t work so well off island.

  10. Kevin says:

    As predicted the PLP will move swiftly to stop legal proceedings against Lahey/ Brown and Desilva. Burt wants to sound astute but will protect those who have put Bermuda in a bad way. Its not about being right its about doing it the same way as 10 years ago : My Brothers keeper: friends and family program ….here we go again ….hope you are happy you get what you vote for

  11. Smiths says:

    “…to turn the economy around..” sh1t me really? we’re going to go backwards?

  12. 2025 plan says:

    Leopards don’t change there spots.

  13. Ringmaster says:

    That is 2018. What is he doing about the EU attack on Tax Havens, which of course includes Bermuda? Bob Richards was due to fly to Brussels the day after the election. It’s now two weeks so is Premier Burt even aware of the imminent impact?

    • Earth watch police says:

      Wtf is this where’s the jobs Bermudians first how about education mould in schools seniors how many work permits are you declining you worried about terrorist financing get the f##k outta here .

      • Reuben says:

        So something that can effect the main pillar of Bermuda’s economy should be ignored? So if something happens to effect this pillar how do you propose to pay for the mold removal. improvements to education, looking after seniors and all the other issues that rely indirectly on IB??

        • Double S says:

          The magic money tree…the one that produces $400mn deficits of course

          • Ringmaster says:

            I could respond to “Earth watch police” but I have no idea what he/she is saying.

  14. peter says:

    where are the new jobs?

  15. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    I’m just wondering why a vote of NO confidence hasn’t been launched already..lmao..

  16. rene says:

    They need to have a financial review of why Cayman is attracting business and Bermuda is not.

  17. rumsoak says:

    Bermuda is black and white, always has been always will be . We all get along pretty well, social media has messed it all up .

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