On 27 October 2023, the Cayman Islands successfully achieved its goal of being removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) "grey list" after two years of dedicated efforts. This achievement is the result of collaborative work by both public and private sectors, which worked to meet the global anti-money laundering (AML) standards set by the FATF. The Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, André Ebanks, expressed his delight at this accomplishment, highlighting the shared determination to shed the "grey list" status.
The decision to delist the Cayman Islands was announced following the FATF plenary in Paris on 25-27 October 2023, attended by Minister Ebanks and Attorney General Samuel Bulgin. The Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, led by Mr Bulgin, oversees AML efforts in the Cayman Islands.
Attorney General Bulgin emphasised the significance of this achievement, as it confirms the effectiveness of the Cayman Islands' AML regime in preventing, detecting, and prosecuting financial crimes, not only locally but also in supporting international efforts. Minister Ebanks further explained how AML compliance benefits everyone in everyday activities such as banking, shopping, or charitable donations.
Both the Attorney General and Minister Ebanks acknowledged the valuable lessons learned during the 4th round, which have improved the Cayman Islands' ability to incorporate international standards into its AML regime and enhance its effectiveness in combating financial crime.
The Premier of the Cayman Islands, Wayne Panton, praised the efforts of the Attorney General, Minister Ebanks, public servants, and the financial services industry, along with the public's support, in achieving this milestone. This accomplishment bolsters the Cayman Islands' reputation and sets the stage for further development in the commercial sector and compliance regime.
With this decision, the Cayman Islands has completed its participation in FATF's 4th-round mutual evaluation process. The next evaluation round will begin in 2026, with preparations underway to ensure alignment with the evolving FATF standards and evaluation methodology.
The official press release can be found here.