PANAMA CITY – The Panamanian financial industry “is not afraid” of the appearance of new digital technologies to do business, which is why it welcomes a plan to reform the country’s financial laws, Carlos Troetsch, chairman of the board of the Banking Association of Panama (ABP) told EFE on Wednesday.
Troetsch said that the financial, insurance and fintech sectors had “actively” participated in the government’s proposed amendment of Panama’s financial laws by presenting their recommendations.
ABP’s chairman said that the financial sector “is prepared and unafraid, as Panama’s banks are experienced, and if anyone knows about competition and welcomes it, it is Panamanian banks.”
Troetsch inaugurated on Wednesday the 22nd Hemispheric Conference for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which has brought together more than 1,100 officials and experts linked to the financial industry from 16 countries throughout the Americas.
Troetsch said that Panama’s financial industry expects the new laws to “seek to regulate” the new technologies, although the changes “should be gradual, conforming to Panama’s reality,” adding that “the important point is to lay the groundwork that allows modernization, especially in digital issues.”
The head Panama’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, Gustavo Valderrama, said during the conference’s inauguration that the proposal to amend the country’s financial laws seeks to “strengthen the international image of Panama and abide by the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) regarding fiscal and financial transparency.”
According to Valderrama, the proposal to reform Panama’s financial laws includes regulating the use of cryptocurrencies, new financial technologies, and crowdfunding, as well as changing stock market regulations.
The Panamanian Congress is expected this week to discuss new measures to prevent money laundering by means of new financial technologies, with the input of experts from across the hemisphere.