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CAYMAN WELCOMES IMPROVED FATF ASSESSMENT

Government 25 Oct, 2022 Follow News

CAYMAN WELCOMES IMPROVED FATF ASSESSMENT

By Staff Writer

Hon. Minister for Financial Services, Andre Ebanks, has welcomed the acknowledgement by the Financial Action Task Force(FATF) of Cayman’s efforts in strengthening its systems to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

He attended the FATF meeting in Paris on October 21st when the current assessment was announced.

The FATF has credited Cayman for ‘imposing adequate and effective sanctions for parties who fail to file accurate, adequate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information’.

“As we continue to move forward, it is becoming clearer globally that the Cayman Islands has a legacy image challenge, not a standards and effectiveness difficulty. I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication and cooperation from both sectors,” Min. Ebanks said in a statement.

According to FATF, since February 2021, when the Cayman Islands made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and CFATF(Caribbean Financial Action Task Force) to strengthen its effectiveness against money laundering and terrorism financing, the jurisdiction has taken steps towards improving its systems.

It listed “imposing adequate and effective sanctions in cases where relevant parties (including legal persons) do not file accurate, adequate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information in line with those requirements.”

CALL TO ACTION

However, the FATF “urges the Cayman Islands to swiftly complete its action plan as all deadlines have now expired and to address the strategic deficiency by February 2023.”

“The Cayman Islands should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by demonstrating that they are prosecuting all types of money laundering cases in line with the jurisdiction’s risk profile and that such prosecutions are resulting in the application of dissuasive, effective, and proportionate sanctions,” the FATF advised.

Min. Ebanks has explained that this means that the Cayman Islands has satisfied 62 of 63 recommended actions in relation to improving its systems to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

“Importantly, it also moves the Cayman Islands much closer to being removed from the FATF’s list of jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies. Such removal would then trigger removal from the EU’s AML/CFT list,” he stated referring to the ‘grey list’ of countries.

“The commitment and diligence of both our public and private sectors is earning us a stronger reputation as a global partner that stands firm in fighting financial crime,” Mr Ebanks pointed out.

SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS

The FATF praise for the efforts being taken by Cayman has also been welcomed by Cayman Finance, the representative body for the financial industry with 65 member firms and 15 professional associations.

Cayman Finance CEO Steve McIntosh said: “This represents significant progress towards the jurisdiction’s removal from the FATF “grey list” and demonstrates our industry’s commitment to meeting the highest global standards for transparency, information sharing and the combatting of international financial crime.”

Mr McIntosh also said, “This represents significant progress towards the jurisdiction’s removal from the FATF “grey list” and demonstrates our industry’s commitment to meeting the highest global standards for transparency, information sharing and the combatting of international financial crime. 

And the Cayman Finance CEO pointed out that the Cayman Islands was one of the first countries in the world to implement a verified register of beneficial owners, a result of the collaborative relationship between our financial services industry and Government. 

“On behalf of the entire financial services industry, Cayman Finance wishes to recognise the hard work of the Ministry of Financial Services in implementing the register of beneficial owners and supporting legislation that led directly to today’s positive outcome, as well as the exemplary leadership of the Minister of Financial Services, the Honourable Andre Ebanks,” Mr McIntosh added.


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