Cayman escapes Europe’s dirty money list

| 15/02/2019 | 9 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government was able to breathe a sigh of relief this week when the European Commission revealed its revised blacklist of countries with what it considers weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes. This jurisdiction avoided the list of 23 countries, along with all of the British Overseas Territories with financial centres. But this list deals only with ‘dirty money’ and not tax issues. Cayman is still waiting to hear if it has managed to remain off the more worrying tax haven blacklist.

In a press release the commission stated that the aim of this dirty money list, which includes the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad, is to protect the European Union’s financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

“As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks …on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows,” the release stated.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said the EU has the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world.

“But we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system. Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest,” Jourová added.

The list was created following an analysis of 54 priority jurisdictions, which included the Cayman Islands. Each country was assessed for the level of threat, the legal framework and controls put in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risks and their effective implementation. The Commission also took into account the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

CNS has contact the government for comment on the good news and we are awaiting a response. But it is expected that Premier Alden McLaughlin and his financial services minister, Tara Rivers, are likely to point to Cayman’s continued cooperation and adoption of international standards regarding money laundering and terrorist financing as the reason that Cayman was not named on this particular list.

The more challenging issue for the Cayman Islands Government is the list dealing with taxation issues. That updated list is still to be released. The authorities here are, however, hoping that the passage of legislation last year requiring offshore companies to have some form of economic presence here will be enough to ensure the jurisdiction is not blacklisted, enabling the financial sector to continued doing business in Europe.

Cayman was placed on a blacklist created by the Netherlands at the end of last year because of its zero tax rate, which officials here believe is the fundamental reason why the jurisdiction remains a target of European governments.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Did they investigate any EU Member countries? If not this isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Maybe start with the Dutch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A well deserved exclusion from the black list!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Finance is dying here, we need a dock

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any black list that does not include the USA is conflicted and valueless. It’s darn collusion I say!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Confused by headline. Escape hasnt been determined yet?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hurrah, my Southern Sudanese accounts are safe!

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said the EU has the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world.”

    Nothing to see here, move on, Nothing to see. *firework factory exploding in background*

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