The Cayman Islands is just three steps away from meeting all the recommendations set out by international financial sector regulators.
These focus on strengthening anti-money laundering processes and combatting the financing of terrorism otherwise known (AML/CFT) systems.
Reporting that the jurisdiction has now satisfied 60 of the 63 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force(FATF), the Cayman Islands Government says it’s already making progress in completing the remaining three recommended actions.
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said, “The three remaining recommended actions are about the continuing effectiveness of our legal framework, in terms of compliance and enforcement in detecting and deterring financial crime, and recent work by our agencies substantiates our progress in these areas.”
“For many years, Government and Cayman’s private sector have worked together to address the ever-evolving local and global risk of financial crime,” he said.
“As a result, today’s FATF report recognises that overall, our framework is fairly robust in fighting these crimes.”
Hon. Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, QC, who is also chairman of the Cayman Islands Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG) described the country’s response to the recommended actions as robust.
“Prior to the CFATF report in March 2019, our public and private sectors continued to address the FATF standard through updated legislative, regulatory and law enforcement measures,” Mr Bulgin commented.
“Government’s commitment today reaffirms the priority that the Cayman Islands continues to place upon meeting global AML standards.”
While the action plan for the Cayman Islands focuses on the effectiveness of its AML regime, the Attorney General also noted that the jurisdiction’s “excellent outcome with regards to technical compliance due to our modernised legislative framework.”
Jurisdictions in the increased monitoring category are required to work with FATF to address outstanding deficiencies in their regimes.
An action plan has been developed for the Cayman Islands to finalise work on the three remaining actions in the next 15 months.
The Cayman Islands Government has given the jurisdiction’s commitment to satisfying the plan’s requirements and notes that, in any event, this work was already underway.
In the interim, the jurisdiction will continue to be closely monitored by the FATF as it works on implementing the remaining requirements.
Last October, the Cayman Islands was removed from the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
The European Commission said then that the jurisdiction had “delivered on their pending commitments to remove a harmful tax regime and increase tax transparency respectively.”
Cayman Finance issued the following statement by CEO Jude Scott about the announcement by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that it was increasing its monitoring of the Cayman Islands:
Meanwhile, commenting on the FATF decision to increase monitoring of the jurisdiction, the umbrella organisation for Cayman’s financial services industry commends the government for its efforts in strengthening regulations.
In a statement, Cayman Finance says: “The financial services industry appreciates the efforts made by the Cayman Islands Government to successfully address 60 separate FATF’s recommended actions to strengthen the jurisdiction’s anti-money laundering legal and regulatory regime.”
The organisation says it and its members will continue to collaborate with Government to support its work to address the few remaining issues so that the Cayman Islands can be removed from increased monitoring at the earliest possible opportunity.”