Cayman under pressure from international regulator

Pedro Gonçalves
Cayman under pressure from international regulator

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is demanding that Cayman’s government make legislative changes so that its fight against terrorist financing and money laundering is in line with international standards.

The international regulator wants Cayman to give more independence and autonomy to its Financial Reporting Authority, the organisation that provides information to law enforcement agencies from other jurisdictions who have investigations that involve Cayman.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said the amendments will remove the requirement for the Financial Reporting Authority to obtain permission from the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group before entering into agreements with other financial investigative units.

The amendments, required by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, will also remove requirements for the authority to get consent from the attorney general before fulfilling international information requests.

“We’re going through a period of review and have a third draft report of our system, and this was one of the things that was flagged in that report,” he said.

Even though the CFATF is reviewing Cayman based on the task force’s 2012 standard, the standards can be changed in the middle of the review, Mr. Bulgin said.

“It’s a crazy process, but we’re required to comply,” he said, local media outlet Cayman Compass reports.

Bulgin admitted that the standards for Cayman keep shifting, and he said that the territory is becoming “review-fatigued.”

As the Cayman Islands struggle to comply, The Bahamas have received favourable reviews from CFATF

The office of the attorney general and the ministry of Legal Affairs released a statement which outlined The Bahamas’ success as it relates to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

The statement outlined that the results of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation Report reflected that The Bahamas received “largely compliant or compliant’ ratings in 18 of the 40 Financial Action Task Force recommendations, while posting ‘partially compliant” ratings in 21 Financial Action Task Force Recommendations and a ‘non-compliant’ rating in one Financial Action Task Force Recommendation.

Both internationally and regionally, The Bahamas has been praised for its significant efforts and achievements over the last 15 months to address deficiencies identified in its Caribbean Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation report, which was approved in May of this year.

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