CAYMAN ISLANDS: Jurisdiction strengthens anti-money laundering rules to meet CFATF requirements.

As published on internationalinvestment.net, Tuesday 3 November, 2020.

A raft of financial services legislation passed in July has faced its first round of scrutiny, as the Cayman Islands government followed-up with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

The task force looked at the technical compliance and effectiveness of Cayman's legislative framework in countering terrorist financing and preventing money laundering.

Cayman's AML/CFT regime, along with the efforts to counter proliferation financing (CPF), is currently being assessed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets the global AML/CFT/CPF standards.

The CFATF is the regional body that monitors compliance with the FATF standard. Cayman's VASPs framework incorporates the FATF's recommendations for AML/CFT/CPF, which the FATF adopted in 2019.

The National Coordinator for Government's Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG) Elisabeth Lees said: "while great strides have already been made, we remain committed to continuing to improve and enhance standards for the jurisdiction, as a matter of national priority. Robust AML/CFT/CPF standards are essential to help us attract quality, sustainable business. Much of the work we have already undertaken so far in this regard places the Cayman Islands very much in line with international standards."

Attorney General, Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC, commented: "Despite continuing to deal with ongoing challenges to the jurisdiction from a major global pandemic, the Cayman Islands has taken its requirements to meeting the CFATF's recommended actions very seriously and acted strenuously in this regard.

"As such, the actions taken collectively highlight our commitment to ensuring that the Cayman Islands obtains positive ratings from global standard setters as well as continuing to remain at the forefront of the financial services jurisdictions in the world."

After the Observation Period ended on Friday, October 23, the Cayman Islands now moves into the next phase of the process, where the FATF will determine whether sufficient progress has been made. The final outcome is expected to be announced in February 2021.