(CMR) Having now fully satisfied the action plan given by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Cayman Islands is eligible to be removed from the list of countries the FATF is monitoring for deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML) regimes, subject to successful completion of an onsite visit by the FATF.
FATF announced its decision today, Friday, 23 June, following its plenary. The Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, KC; the Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks; and the Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit, Francis Arana, attended the plenary to represent the Cayman Islands and discuss progress made on the last of the three recommended actions in the FATF Action Plan.
As a standard requirement, the delisting process involves an onsite FATF visit, tentatively scheduled for late August or early September. During the onsite visit, FATF assessors will visit the Cayman Islands to meet in person with local stakeholders to assess the operation of Cayman's action plan in practice and its sustainability.
An onsite visit report then will be presented at the next FATF Plenary, now scheduled for October this year, at which the Cayman Islands will receive confirmation as to whether it will be delisted.
FATF listed the Cayman Islands in February 2021. To be delisted, FATF required three recommended actions to be completed. These three actions were what remained from 63 actions, following a Post Observation Period Report to the FATF in February 2021.
“Satisfying all of the 63 recommended actions is a major step towards the Cayman Islands being delisted, but as is the case for other listed countries that met this milestone, there is one more step to complete, and all relevant stakeholders need to remain focused,” Minister Ebanks said.
The Attorney General noted that preparations are already underway for the onsite visit of the Americas Joint Group – a subgroup of the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), acknowledging that “the FATF process is rigorous with reason. Its purpose, among other things, is to ensure that local authorities can effectively deter, detect, investigate and prosecute serious crimes.”
The AG and Minister Ebanks said the Cayman Islands looks forward to continuing our cooperation with the FATF Americas Joint Group during their onsite visit in order to complete the last step of the delisting process. A final decision will be made by the FATF at Its October 2023 plenary.