The Bahamian law clarifies authority that is given to The Central Bank of The Bahamas, which includes licensing, registration, regulation and supervision of relevant financial institutions. To promote ethical financial conducts, three legal acts have been in force actively. In 2000, The Bahamas pursuant to the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act ("BTCRA"), and The Central Bank of The Bahamas Act were issued. In 2015, The Bahamas Cooperative Credit Unions Act ("BCCUA") was passed to closely monitor credit unions, which has special characteristics from other financial institutions.
The guidelines will integrate the existing laws, and replace 2005's version of guidelines. Furthermore, it will alternate the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Handbook and Code of Practice Guidelines for Credit Unions on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, issued by the Compliance Commission. If related financial institutions fail to comply with the guidelines, there is a risk of facing penalty. Supervised Financial Institutions (SFI) are expected to taking the avoidance of money laundering and financing of terrorism as part of their risk management strategies, instead of as mere requirements.
In order to cover broad range of financial performances, the guidelines were developed in accordance with financial institutions and industry organizations' consultation. SFIs that include international businesses are also required to exercise accordingly overseas, except in a case where the host country's law is more strict. Additionally, the Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) updated guidelines on Suspicious Transactions Reporting (STRs) need to be adhered continuously. To avoid the risk of suspension of business during STR, SFIs are encouraged to seek independent legal advice from third parties.