The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (‘CFATF’) recently published its Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation Report (’Report’) on the Cayman Islands (‘Cayman’). Over 274 pages it assesses Cayman’s progress towards adoption of ever improving international regulations on matters such as anti-money laundering (‘AML’) and counter the financing of terrorism (‘CFT’) and makes recommendations. The assessment is based on measures in place in Cayman as at December 2017. An online version of the CFATF report including the recommendations is available from amlu.gov.ky.
What did the Report think of Cayman?
Recognising the AML/CFT risks, threats and vulnerabilities faced by Cayman as a major international financial centre the Report found:
“The Cayman Islands has a high level of commitment to ensuring their AML/CFT framework is robust and capable of safeguarding the integrity of the jurisdiction’s financial sector. The jurisdiction’s AML/CFT regime is complemented by a well-developed legal and institutional framework.”
The Report found Cayman was doing many things well in regard to AML/CTF risks and has good systems and expertise available. It also identified areas for improvement such as further training in some public sectors, the expansion of the regulation regime and enforcement powers and the speed of response of its regulators. The Cayman Islands Government (‘CIG’) has put many improvements in place in recent years and there are more on the way. Addressing the Report, Cayman's Premier explained that:
“A dedicated task force, comprised of a cross section of government agencies, has been appointed to oversee the implementation of a comprehensive action plan and “…we are confident that all of the concerns identified in the CFATF report will be remedied within the one-year timeframe.”
What does this mean for Cayman?
Cayman will continue the work it was already undertaking to improve its AML/CFT framework. Over the next 12 months Cayman plans to implement the recommendations contained in the CFATF report. This process will be monitored by CFATF. Financial Services Minister, Hon. Tara Rivers adds:
“The history of financial services in the Cayman Islands shows that Government and the private sector are willing and able to meet changing global standards while maintaining our standing atop the international financial services market.”
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