Grand Cayman, 13 January 2023 – Led by the Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, KC; and the Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks, a Cayman Islands delegation has updated a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review group on our money-laundering investigations and prosecutions, to demonstrate the Cayman Islands’ capability and capacity for fighting financial crimes.
Given during a 12 January 2023 meeting in Miami with the Americas Joint Group (Joint Group), a sub-working group of the FATF’s International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), the update addressed the FATF’s final recommended action for the Cayman Islands.
The meeting was part of the process for being removed from the list of jurisdictions monitored by the FATF for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML) deficiencies. The FATF sets the global AML regulatory standard.
In March 2019 the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, which supports the FATF’s work in the region, recommended 63 actions for the Cayman Islands to complete, to further strengthen our regime.
By February 2021 the Cayman Islands had completed 60 of these actions; however, the FATF placed us on its monitoring list, and gave us an action plan to complete the remaining three items.
Of these three, CIMA satisfied the recommended action regarding effective sanctions in June 2021. The Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce satisfied the second recommended action, in relation to beneficial ownership, in October 2022.
Through the ICRG, the Joint Group will report its findings from the review process to the FATF, for decision during the FATF Plenary this February. At the end of the plenary, the FATF will make a public statement on the status of jurisdictions on its monitoring list – whether the jurisdiction is to remain, or to be removed. If the jurisdiction is to be removed, it normally happens at the following plenary, which in this case will be June 2023.
The Attorney General oversees the Cayman Islands’ AML/CFT regime, and the Chief Officer in the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce is the AMLSG’s deputy chair.
As the update focused on money-laundering investigations and prosecutions, the delegation to Miami also included representatives from the Cayman Islands Bureau of Financial Investigations; and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Representatives from the Anti-Money Laundering Unit within the Attorney General’s Chambers completed the delegation.