By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, NASSAU, Bahamas, Mon. Mar. 21, 2022: Some Russians have in excess of two billion US dollars in international banks and trust companies in the Bahamas.
That’s according to the Central Bank of the Bahamas, (CBB), which said it has discovered approximately US$420 million in deposits and US$2.5 billion in custody or trust assets with ultimate beneficial owners from or connected to Russia.
It noted that the greatest proportion of Russian exposure would be linked to the international sector. “However, the Central Bank is currently canvassing domestic financial institutions – that is the commercial banks, money transmission business and electronic money service providers – to ascertain any level of exposure within those sectors,” the CBB said.
But the bank cautioned that the information it has disclosed “are aggregates for the international banking and trust sector, and not specific to any sanctioned interests.”
The Group of Financial Services Regulators of The Bahamas has issued a directive to Bahamian financial institutions against doing business with sanctioned persons and entities of Russia and Belarus after Moscow’s decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine with European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States leading the sanctions against Russia.
The Bahamas government has warned local companies to be very cautious when conducting business with any Russian entity even as the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM), called on the government to act more decisively in the interest of sovereignty.
The US Embassy in Nassau has urged The Bahamas to limit Russia’s access to the Bahamian financial system and to restrict this country’s airspace to Russian aircraft.