Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cayman Islands fines Western International $482,000 over anti-money laundering breaches

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The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has fined Western International Trust Company Limited $482,717 for breaches of anti-money laundering regulations (AMLRs).

In an enforcement notice published on 22 Dec., the financial regulator said the fine was imposed for failing to apply customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence, as well as failing to identify beneficial owners, verify the source of funds, scrutinise transactions and consider all relevant risk factors.

Some of the findings represented failings of the company to remediate similar issues uncovered in previous on-site inspections.

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CIMA said the case highlights the importance of licensees having in place appropriate and effective anti-money laundering policies to ensure compliance with Cayman’s regulatory framework.

The authority said it is committed to enhancing Cayman’s anti-money laundering regime and through on-site, off-site and other monitoring processes.

“We will also continue to treat breaches of the jurisdiction’s AMLRs or regulatory acts with particular seriousness and take the appropriate enforcement or other actions where necessary,” CIMA said.

Cayman is still waiting to hear the outcome of a rerating process by the Financial Action Task Force, the international standard setter in the anti-money laundering space.

In a report released in March, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the FATF’s regional affiliate, found major shortcomings in Cayman’s anti-money laundering regime.

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Cayman has since addressed the 49 recommendations made by the CFATF evaluation. The FATF verdict on whether this has been done successfully is expected in February 2021.

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