Cayman’s AML ‘delisting’ begins in Europe and UK

| 15/12/2023 | 9 Comments
André Ebanks in the House of Parliament (file photo)

(CNS): Following the removal of the Cayman Islands from the Financial Action Task Force grey-list last month, the jurisdiction is now also being removed from other lists related to anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and counter-proliferation financing (AML/CFT/CPF) regime.

The government has said that it has been informed that the EU Commission has published a delegated regulation this week regarding the removal of the Cayman Islands from its AML black-list.

This document marks the first official step toward Cayman’s delisting from the EU AML list, Financial Services Minister André Ebanks told his colleagues in parliament on Thursday. The regulation is not yet in force, but the government expects, as per previous EU protocol, that there will be further movement on this matter next month, as it should take about three weeks.

“We’re pleased to see the EU take this step with regards to the Cayman Islands and their AML listing, which accords with our correspondence with the EU on this matter,” Ebanks said. “It is therefore a credit to our sustained AML reforms and proactive engagement with EU officials and decision-makers that we are advancing towards delisting early next year.”

As of 5 December, the UK Government has officially removed the Cayman Islands from its list of high-risk third countries for AML/CFT/CPF purposes. HM Treasury published regulations earlier this month, following the removal of the Cayman Islands from the FATF AML list in October 2023.

“As a result of our FATF delisting, we expected the Cayman Islands to be removed from the UK high-risk list in addition to reduced ratings in other countries,” the minister said. “I’m therefore grateful that following discussions with Her Excellency, Governor Jane Owen and other relevant UK Government officials, Cayman has been removed.”

Speaking to his colleagues in parliament yesterday, Ebanks, who has said he never wants another minister to have to go through what he did to get Cayman off the grey list, said that aside from a less significant list in the US, which Cayman should also be removed from shortly, the jurisdiction will, in a matter of weeks, be off all of the lists that had an impact on the offshore sector.

Pressed by Sir Alden McLaughlin on the controversial issue of Cayman’s overseas offices and whether they were functioning properly, Ebanks revealed that Chris Duggan, who was appointed as Cayman’s representative in Washington, had resigned but there was an acting representative in place and recruitment for a new one was underway. He said this presented an opportunity for another Caymanian to take up the job.

He said the Asia office space had been identified and it was moving along, but there were some bureaucratic hurdles to jump before it opened.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How long until they screw over and blackball the Cayman Islands on some other spurious charges?

  2. Caymanian says:

    People don’t seem to understand that the Cayman Islands competes directly with the EU, UK and US in the global financial industry. Cayman (and others) being blacklisted has more to do with eliminating the competition than it has to do with preventing money laundering and tax avoidance. Our global competitors have their own ways of attracting international investors to their shores. Ways that could be considered by other countries as a means to facilitate the avoidance of home country taxation. But you don’t see the competition being blacklisted. That’s because they are the same states that make up the intergovernmental organizations that police global finance. Cayman’s current delisting will only last as long as it takes for our competitors to come up with another reason to put us back on. Its only a matter of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, like other countries and territories they gave ample warnings to, Cayman and Tara had a year with the hard naughty-list deadline, and regular journaled reminders, but instead of taking it seriously, and moving us towards compliance, a whole week of LA time was consumed into overtime on the unproductive gaypril sessions. We can point at others if it makes us feel better, but the fact is, the vault wasn’t set very high and Tara didn’t even get us airborne. Our “Parliamentarians” are mostly the same morons that think the world owes Cayman something. It doesn’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t make this about Tara. In fact, if you want to go there, Tara and her team managed to ensure that Cayman successfully completed 60 of the 63 FATF action items in one year! A record by all accounts and certainly something that cannot and should not be forgotten. (The remaining 3 action items that caused Cayman to be grey listed by the FATF required time to demonstrate – criminal prosecutions and administrative fines – which due process requires.)

        Stop trying to malign Tara and the previous government in all of this. The FS industry knows full well what happened in relation to the EU Tax Blacklist that you are trying to conflate here. Tara and her team – the same team the the current Minister is relying on by the way – did a tremendous job in dealing with the absolute whirlwind of assessments to which the jurisdiction was subjected to during her tenure.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ironic how this is happening just as a bunch of ignorant backward crooks took over Parliament.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you André but be wary of the ulterior and financial motives and associations of the colleagues that now surround you. Not only do they risk ruining all your good work (while taking credit for it) they will only pull us down, and you too. Having said that PPM no better. Sucks to be a politician who really cares for Cayman right now, as Wayne can surely testify.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done Andre!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Give that man a knighthood

  7. Anonymous says:

    Soon be back on it with this lot!


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