With regard to international publications mentioning a Panamanian law firm, the administration of President Juan Carlos Varela reaffirms that in its 21 months of government, it has demonstrated an absolute commitment to transparency in legal and financial services, as shown by the country’s recent exclusion from the FATF-GAFI Grey List.

The Government of Panama leads a policy of zero tolerance toward any aspect of its legal or financial system that is not handled with high levels of transparency.

Furthermore, the Government of Panama will vigorously cooperate with any request or assistance necessary should any judicial proceedings arise.

In January 2016 a series of new regulations came into effect limiting the use of bearer shares by Panamanian corporations. With these new regulations, those legal entities that have issued bearer shares must deliver them to the custody of authorized agents and regulated financial entities.

Similarly, in fulfillment of Panama’s commitments to FATF-GAFI and in compliance with the roadmap set up by the Committee against Money Laundering, Law 23 of 2015 was adopted in order to strengthen our financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing, leading to our nation’s withdrawal from the FATF-GAFI Grey List.

Finally, as part of efforts to increase monitoring and combating of illicit activities, seven new laws have been approved which expand the list of offenses, and regulate non-traditional financial sectors such as law firms and real estate businesses, in order to increase transparency and curtail abuse of our financial center.