FATF Standards Upgraded
Committed to maintaining high standards consistently, the Cayman Islands Government joins global partners in welcoming the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) recently revised recommendations.
In fact, the Government played a prominent role in the revision through involvement with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
The modernised standards will effectively improve the continuing fight against money laundering as well as all forms of organised criminal activity and will strengthen Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT).
It is vital for the international community to review combat capabilities constantly to remain vigilant of unlawful conduct getting more sophisticated. Therefore, the revised standards assume greater importance because they provide much needed clarity to officials responsible for ensuring compliance with international standards.
However, the Cayman Islands' compliance regime will require no fundamental changes to implement the revised FATF standards, given our robust legislative and administrative frameworks' current ability to deal with money laundering and CFT in a variety of manifestations.
Our system's effectiveness was recognised in the 3rd round of the Mutual Evaluation exercise which found the Cayman Islands to be compliant or largely compliant in the overwhelming majority of the then 40+9 FATF recommendations, and which compared favourably with major jurisdictions such as USA, UK, Singapore and Belgium.
Nevertheless, we know that nefarious elements shift modalities to use some jurisdictions to practise their unlawful activities. Consequently, we remain vigilant in safeguarding the reputation of our jurisdiction and constantly review our combat framework to ensure it stays effective.
The Cabinet in late 2011 approved the Attorney General's Chambers to establish an additional dedicated Anti-Money Laundering (AML) unit to coordinate the ongoing domestic review of our frameworks that deal with anti-money laundering, CFT and Combating the Financing of the Proliferation (CFP) of weapons of mass destruction.
The unit's review areas will include enhanced risk-based initiatives, international cooperation, tax offences as a predicate crime and enhanced requirements dealing with domestic politically exposed persons.
Functioning primarily as the coordinator among law enforcement, supervisory and competent authorities, the unit will also advise the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG) in areas including the tweaking of our legislative and other operational tools to ensure we comply with contemporary international best practice.
We pledge to continue working with international partners in the global fight against money laundering, tax evasion, CFT and CFP. This is evidenced by our ongoing engagement with the FATF, CFATF, OECD, Group of International Financial Centre Supervisors (GIFCS), International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors (CGBS), Association of Banking Supervisors of the Americas (ASBA), Offshore Group of Insurance Supervisors (OGIS) and other similar international organisations.