Speech

1)   Jamaica’s mutual evaluation report against the International Standards on Combatting Money   Laundering   and   the   Financing   of   Terrorism   and   Proliferation   (“FATF   40” Recommendations)  was  done  in  2015  by  the  Caribbean  Financial  Action  Task  Force (“CFATF”)  and  published  by  the  CFATF  in  2017.  The  report  reflected  a  substantial number of deficiencies in Jamaica’s legislative framework (also referred to as “technical compliance”  with  the  Financial  Action  Task  Force’s  40  Recommendations).     Jamaica received   a   rating   of   compliant   or   largely   compliant   with   17   out   of   the   40

Recommendations  and  based  on  that  outcome,     Jamaica  was  placed  in  the  CFATF’s enhanced follow up  process  and,  as  such,  is required to  submit  a  follow up  report   at one of CFATF’s two Plenaries held annually.  In December 2020, Jamaica submitted the third follow-up report, since its mutual evaluation report was published in early 2017.

 

2)    In  this  third  follow-up  report  considered  at  the  recently  concluded  December  2020 Plenary   of   the   CFATF,   Jamaica   applied   for   a   re-rating   in   19   of   the   40   FATF Recommendations  in  which  we  were  previously  deemed either partially compliant  or non-compliant.

 

3)    I am happy to report that:

  1. Jamaica received upgrades in twelve (12) of those Recommendations while b. the rating remained unchanged for six (6) recommendations
  2. Jamaica received   one   (1)   downgrade   as   a   result   of   changes   in   the requirements   of   that   Recommendation   post   the   finalization   of   our   last mutual evaluation.

4)   Jamaica is now compliant or largely compliant with 27 of FATF’s 40 recommendations a substantial improvement over compliance or partial compliance with only 17 out of 40 FATF Recommendations in our mutual evaluation which was undertaken in 2015 and published in 2017. This is a huge positive change Madam Speaker.

 

5)   Put   another   way,   we   are   partially   compliant   with   13   Recommendations   and improvement  over  being  partially  compliant  with  21  Recommendations  and  non- compliant with 2. This is a big positive change.

 

6)   Jamaica   needs   to   be   compliant   or   largely   compliant   with   at   least   32   of   the   40

Recommendations to come out of the “follow-up process” with CFATF

 

7)   The standard setter—FATF deems a rating of compliant (C) or largely compliant (LC) as generally satisfying the requirements of the Recommendation.

 

8)   A rating of partially compliant (PC) or non-compliant (NC), are considered insufficient to meet the Standards.  The results of the re-rating exercise are set out in the following paragraphs.

 

9)   Three (3) Recommendations upgraded from Partially Compliant to Compliant viz:

 

  1. Recommendation 12—Politically Exposed Persons;
  2. Recommendation 21—Tipping-off and confidentiality; and c. Recommendation 33—Statistics

 

10) Seven  (7)  Recommendations  were  upgraded  from  Partially  Compliant  to  Largely Compliant viz:

  1. Recommendation 2 – National cooperation and coordination;
  2. Recommendation 10 – Customer due diligence;
  3. Recommendation 11 – Record keeping;
  4. Recommendation 14 – Money or value transfer services;
  5. Recommendation 17 – Reliance on third parties;
  6. Recommendation 18 –    Internal    controls     and    foreign    branches    and subsidiaries; and Recommendation 19—Higher-risk   countries.

 

11) One (1) recommendation was upgraded from Non-Compliant to Largely Compliant

  1. Recommendation 6—Targeted Financial Sanctions related to Terrorism and Terrorist Financing was upgraded from Non-Compliant to Largely Compliant.

 

12) One (1) recommendation was upgraded from Non-Compliant to Partially Compliant Recommendation 8—Non-Profit Organizations

 

13)     Recommendation  5—Terrorist  Financing  Offence  maintained  its  rating  of  Largely Compliant, while five (5) Recommendations  maintained their initial rating of Partially Compliant.

 

14) Recommendation    15—New   Technologies,    was    downgraded   from   Compliant    to Partially  Compliant  because  the  conditions  for  meeting  the  standards  were  amended post Jamaica’s mutual evaluation, to require that countries mitigate the emerging risks from  virtual  assets  by  ensuring  that  virtual  asset  service  providers  (“VASPs”)  are regulated.    We  are  currently  working  on  updating  the  legal  framework  to  include regulation of VASPs.

 

15) Since  its  mutual  evaluation,  Jamaica  has  pursued  and  implemented  a  number  of initiatives    to    strengthen    its    AML/CFT/PF    framework    and    has    passed    several amendments   to   its   suite   of   AML/CFT/PF   legislation.     Based   on   these   efforts,   in November  2019,  Jamaica  applied  to  the  CFATF  for  re-ratings  in  19  of  the  FATF  40 Recommendations, the outcome of which I have outlined above.

 

16) The   positive   outcomes   reported   today   are   in   large   part   due   to   the   tremendous cooperation and collaboration among our public sector agencies that are a part of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (“NAMLC”) chaired by the Bank of Jamaica. I would  especially like  to  recognize  the  invaluable  work  and support  provided  by the Ministry of National Security,  Ministry of Foreign  Affairs  and Foreign  Trade  (MFAFT), the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Office  of  the  Chief  Parliamentary  Council,  the  Financial  Services  Commission  (“FSC”), the Financial Investigations Division (FID) and the Bank of Jamaica.

 

17) The   Government   of   Jamaica   is   committed   to   the   strengthening   of   the   country’s framework through the  continued development  of a  sustainable programme  designed to  ensure  that  the  adequacy  of  our  AML/CFT/PF  laws  and  supporting  infrastructure effectively disrupt the benefits of the proceeds of crime and disrupt the financing of any financial crime.  In so doing, we are on the road to achieving Jamaica’s removal from the CFATF enhanced follow up process.

 

18) Jamaica  is  also  working  on  completing  the  actions  included  in  its  action  plan  agreed between the Government of Jamaica and FATF ICRG to improve the effectiveness of the country’s  AML/CFT/PF  framework.  To  this  end,  it  is  anticipated  that  the  initiatives described  above  to  exit  the  CFATF  follow  up  process  would  also  work  towards  the country successfully exiting the FATF ICRG process as well as its grey list on schedule, the EU list of Third-Party Territories considered as presenting an AML/CFT risk to EU Member  States,  and  generally  to  ensure  that  the  Global  community  views  us  as  a country whose economy is not susceptible to ML/TF/PF.

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