Black Immigrant Daily News
Minister of Financial Services, Andr? Ebanks, and Mrs Cheryl-Ann Lister, Chairperson of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (“CFATF”) each gave speeches today (November 30) at the Opening Ceremony of the CFATF 55th Plenary Meeting being held in the Cayman Islands.
This being his second engagement for the day, Minister Ebanks reflected on his earlier speech at the Cayman Captive Forum, relaying a message about Cayman’s approach to compliance with the Financial Action Task Force’s Recommendations and the type of business that Cayman wants to attract.
Expanding on this, Minister Ebanks said:
If you wanna business here and we wanna keep you here, we are only interested in sound business.
I’ve been on the front line with some of you in trying to shape these rules and getting industry to adjust to box out bad actors and only accept good actors.
And I say that because I understand just how arduous a task it can be.
But when you see the rules come to fruition, you see the business continues anyway, it gives you a sense of gratification that the rules can work… and that you can have simultaneously sound business and sound regulation. And that’s what I think we are all here to achieve.
I don’t think anyone here is in the business of stopping good business. But you want the right business. You want the right business for your country and the right business for your people. So, I say that because it demonstrates our high-level political commitment.
In addition to Cayman’s political commitment, Mrs Lister, the CFATF Chairperson, spoke about the work that all of the other CFATF member countries must continue to do to comply with FATF Recommendations to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
Summarizing, Mrs Lister said:
We all have to ensure that we have… we do the things that are necessary to be strong in this area… that we strengthen our engagement with the international bodies to make sure that we are recognised as a force… that is committed to preventing these nefarious crimes.
So, I encourage all of those of you who are here to continue the work, to continue your efforts and to make sure that CFATF’s voice is heard throughout the region and recognised as a force for good in this area.
We will work arduously to ensure that the levels of compliance with the FATF requirements continue to go to a greater and greater extent with all of our members.
We will continue to grow in this area.
30 years and counting.
In terms of the hard work ahead for Cayman, the FATF urged the Cayman Islands in October 2022 “to swiftly complete its action plan as all deadlines have now expired and to address the above-mentioned strategic deficiency by February 2023.”
Regarding this, the FATF said that “The Cayman Islands should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by demonstrating that they are prosecuting all types of money laundering cases in line with the jurisdiction’s risk profile and that such prosecutions are resulting in the application of dissuasive, effective, and proportionate sanctions.”
The CFATF Plenary is expected to continue in the Cayman Islands until December 1, 2022.
More about CFATF
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is an organisation of twenty-four (24) states of the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America, which have agreed to implement common countermeasures to address money laundering. It was established as a result of meetings convened in Aruba in May 1990 and Jamaica in November 1992.
The main objective of the CFATF is to achieve effective implementation of, and compliance with, the FATF recommendations to prevent and control money laundering and to counter the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons.
The Secretariat has been established as a mechanism to monitor and encourage progress to ensure full implementation of the Kingston Ministerial Declaration and is presently hosted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
The CFATF Secretariat undertakes the following activities on behalf of the CFATF membership:
An ongoing programme of the Mutual Evaluation of MembersCoordination of, and participation in, training and technical assistance programmesBi-annual plenary meetings for technical representatives.Annual Ministerial Meetings