A delegation from the Americas Joint Group (Joint Group), a sub-working group of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) International Co-Operation Review Group (ICRG), completed its onsite visit to the Cayman Islands on Friday, 1 September.
The Ministry of Financial Service said in a press release the onsite visit marked a significant milestone in the Cayman Islands’ ongoing efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness and sustainability of its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework in combatting financial crimes.
The Joint Group completed a comprehensive review of the final three recommended actions of the FATF’s action plan for Cayman. Engaging in discussions with Cayman Islands Government officials, regulatory authorities, and private sector entities, the delegation gained valuable insights into the country’s resolute AML/CFT framework, the rules that underpin it, and the practices deployed to operate it effectively.
During the visit, FATF Joint Group members met with the Governor, Jane Owen; Premier Wayne Panton; Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson; Police Commissioner Derek Byrne; Attorney General, Samuel Bulgin, KC; and Minister for Financial Services André Ebanks to discuss the government’s continuing high-level political commitment to maintain FATF standards.
The attorney general noted the visit was an important part of the Cayman Islands’ unwavering commitment to combatting financial crimes.
“The Cayman Islands remains dedicated to upholding the integrity of its financial services system and will continue to strengthen its AML/CFT framework to safeguard against illicit activities. We appreciate the FATF delegation’s thorough review process. We will continue to engage with international partners to guarantee a healthy and safe global financial services system,” Bulgin said.
Minister Ebanks said the visit was a consequential step in the final stage of the process for Cayman Islands to be removed from the FATF’s grey list, and expressed gratitude to all those involved.
“We appreciate the FATF authorising the visit and Joint Group members travelling to the Cayman Islands to verify our progress and learn more about our country and its financial services system. We applaud the collaborative efforts of our local stakeholders who took part in organising and participating in the visit, including representatives from the private sector. Their collective commitment and conduct were instrumental in having an efficient and compelling visit,” Minister Ebanks said.
The visit concluded with a reception hosted by government and Governor Owen at Government House. The Joint Group will now prepare an on-site visit report, which will be presented at the upcoming FATF Plenary next month – at which point the Cayman Islands will receive confirmation as to whether it will be removed from the FATF’s grey list.