This means that the Cayman Islands has satisfied 62 of 63 recommended actions in relation to improving our anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
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.
“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,” said the Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks.
“There is a solid mass of evidence that proves our ongoing commitment to implementing global standards effectively, from our improved policy and legislative framework, to new and enhanced compliance IT systems, to increasing the number of professionals in the public sector who monitor and oversee those compliance systems.
“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. I therefore thought it was important to attend the FATF plenary in person, to convey key data points which demonstrate that the Cayman Islands is not the same as depicted from decades ago. It was an honour and privilege to do so.”
In a March 2019 report the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), which supports the FATF’s work in the region, noted that the Cayman Islands had completed 60 of 63 recommended actions to improve our regime. In February 2021 the FATF listed the Cayman Islands and encouraged us to complete the three outstanding recommended actions, on effective sanctions, beneficial ownership, and money laundering investigations and prosecutions.
The recommended action on effective supervisory sanctions was satisfied in June 2021.
Today the FATF noted that the Cayman Islands has made progress in imposing sanctions in relation to the accuracy of beneficial ownership information. A “beneficial owner” is a person who ultimately owns or controls an entity, although the entity may be held in another name.
The Cayman Islands continues to make progress on the final recommended action on money laundering investigations and prosecutions, which the FATF encourages the jurisdiction to complete by February 2023.
When the FATF listed the Cayman Islands in February 2021, as an automatic consequence the EU added the Cayman Islands to its list of jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies, in February 2022. However, once the FATF removes the Cayman Islands from its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring, the EU will initiate its steps to also delist the Cayman Islands.
Minister Ebanks and the Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit, Francis Arana, attended the FATF plenary in Paris from 20-21 October to address the recommended actions on beneficial ownership, and money laundering investigations and prosecutions. It was during this plenary that the FATF determined that the Cayman Islands has satisfied the recommended action on beneficial ownership.