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Cayman Islands government tables 11 more anti-money laundering Bills to meet FATF demands

Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Next week, the Cayman Islands government will present a further 11 Bills to the Legislative Assembly to reinforce its anti-money laundering regime.

The legislation is required to meet the recommendations set out in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force's (CFATF) fourth round mutual evaluation report, issued in March this year.

Many of the Bills deal with information disclosure by trustees, as well as making company directors' identities public:

  • Banks and Trust Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019. This imposes appropriate transparency measures and disclosure requirements on trusts. It also requires licensee holding a licence to establish a banking business or a Cayman banking group, to make public disclosures.
  • Trusts (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2019. This inserts provisions into the Trusts Law (2018 Revision) that require trustees and the Registrar of Trusts to share information on registered trusts with other competent authorities, with sanctions if they fail to comply.
  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019 requires companies to keep a list of their directors and make it publicly available. It also increases the penalties for failure to comply with beneficial ownership obligations.
  • The Limited Liability Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019 and Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2019 require lists of directors for limited liability companies and partnerships to be made publicly available.
  • The Mutual Funds (Amendment) Bill and Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2019 require licensees who also provide company management services to maintain current beneficial ownership information for their clients.

Other bills are the Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, the Money Services (Amendment) Bill and the Trade and Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2019.

All but one are sponsored by the Ministry of Financial Services, said minister Tara Rivers. These are all in addition to last month's enactment of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Law 2019, the Securities Investment Business (Amendment) Law 2019 and the Directors Registration and Licensing (Amendment) Law 2019.

The jurisdiction is currently in a one-year 'observation period' imposed by the CFATF, during which it is working to correct strategic AML deficiencies under the CFATF recommendations by February 2020.

Rivers said that the new legislation does not signal a movement towards a public register of beneficial ownership.

'The proposed actions coming out of these pieces of legislation do not move the Cayman Islands closer to implementing public registers of beneficial owners and should not be seen as such', said a ministry statement. 'Making the list of directors for a company publicly available is a response to a Caribbean Financial Action Task Force recommended action.'

Sources