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Bahamas Announces New Dormant Account Rules

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
11 May, 2016

The Bahamas Central Bank is consulting on further changes to its proposals relating to the administration of dormant accounts held by its bank licensees.

The amendments have been prompted by feedback received following the release of a first consultation paper in February 2014, as well as closed consultation with industry stakeholders and the Securities Commission of The Bahamas.

The proposed changes include bringing cash deposits found in dormant safety deposit boxes under the dormant accounts regime; and introducing new obligations that will require banks to treat dormant accounts containing precious metals, precious gemstones (excluding jewellery), and securities as transferable assets to be liquidated, and the proceeds transferred to the Central Bank. Banks will be able to deduct the reasonable costs of liquidating such assets.

The period during which a claim may be brought for dormant account funds has been reduced to 10 years from the previous proposal of 25 years. The Central Bank will be required to pay interest on dormant accounts funds where such interest was payable by the bank from which such funds were received. The interest rate will be established by reference to market conditions and factors affecting the management of the dormant account fund in the Central Bank's custody, the Bank said.

The Central Bank has launched a consultation on the proposals until May 31, 2016.

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