Businesses and the government in the Cayman Islands have welcomed the move by the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) to remove Cayman from its jurisdictions under increased monitoring ‘grey list’. The FATF has confirmed that Cayman’s AML regime now meets the global standard having completed the action plan and a successful onsite visit in September 2023. 

The Cayman Islands Government has said the importance of being removed from the anti-money laundering ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) cannot be underestimated.

Here at Paradigm Governance Partners, we also hail the achievement, which has come after two years of lobbying by the Cayman government and regulator.

The Cayman Islands secured removal from the list on Friday October 27, after two years of what the government called sustained hard work and engagement, both locally and internationally.

Cayman was first put on the FATF grey listing in 2021. That was when the Cayman Islands was given three action points to satisfy, in order to be deemed FATF compliant.

The FATF announced the decision to delist the Cayman Islands following its 25-27 October plenary in Paris, which Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks, and the Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, KC, attended. Bulgin chairs the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, which oversees AML for the Cayman Islands.

“The importance of this achievement simply cannot not be understated,” Bulgin said. “FATF’s decision confirms that our AML regime effectively deters, detects, arrests and prosecutes financial crimes in the Cayman Islands, and that it also supports other countries’ efforts.”

The FATF’s decision to delist the Cayman Islands completes its participation in the FATF’s 4th-round mutual evaluation process. The FATF will commence its 5th round process in 2025, with our evaluation expected to begin in 2026.

In preparation, Bulgin said that Cayman is monitoring and anticipating changes to the FATF standard, to ensure that policies and legislation align; and monitoring changes to the FATF evaluation methodology, to assess how best to demonstrate the Cayman Islands’ effectiveness in implementing the standard.

Minister Ebanks, said: “We have demonstrated that we are a global partner in financial services. And with this tremendous achievement, the Cayman Islands is on the move, looking to bolster our commercial offerings for sound business, and our corresponding compliance regime.”

This outcome represents a fantastic achievement for Cayman and will also be a relief to the many stakeholders operating on the jurisdiction. The Cayman Islands strives for the highest possible standards of regulation and transparency, and to have that acknowledged on the international stage is incredibly important to our reputation and ability to operate as a first-class jurisdiction in the future.

Should you have any questions on the update, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.