The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) last week issued a reminder to any businesses carrying out relevant financial business to ensure that their anti-money laundering (AML) staff were all up to scratch and complying with regulations.
CIMA was reminding any licensees and registrants carrying out relevant financial business that they should ensure that all their AML personnel, including their Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officers, Money Laundering Reporting Officers and their deputies, were aware of their respective duties and responsibilities as set out in the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and would act in accordance with them.
The Authority went on to state that licensees and registrants were also required to ensure that appropriate appointments and the discharge of the day-to-day functions of these AML Officers also followed the rules. They advised as follows:
“As set out in Part II Section 2 (C) and Part II Section 9 (B) of the Guidance Notes on the Prevention and Detection of Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Financing in the Cayman Islands, appointed AML Officers must be fit and proper to conduct their role and must be, inter alia:
(i) suitably qualified and experienced;
(ii) persons at a management level who report directly to the Board of Directors or equivalent;
(iii) natural persons;
(iv) autonomous (meaning the AML Officer is the final decision maker as to whether to file a suspicious activity report);
(v) and able to have access to all relevant material in order to make an assessment as to whether the activity is or is not suspicious.”
They emphasised that the AML Officers must be able to dedicate sufficient time for the efficient and effective discharge of their respective functions. Where an AML Officer has other professional roles and responsibilities, these should not compromise their independence or ability to carry out their AML functions, the Authority confirmed. It also stated that AML Officers must be versed in the different types of transactions that the business conducted, which might give rise to opportunities for money-laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing and any direct or indirect activity with designated person or entities.
Where the AML Officer function was outsourced, CIMA said, the licensee or registrant retained ultimate responsibility for compliance with the AMLRs and must maintain adequate policies and procedures.