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:
- Jamaica received upgrades in twelve (12) of those Recommendations while b. the rating remained unchanged for six (6) recommendations
- 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:
- Recommendation 12—Politically Exposed Persons;
- Recommendation 21—Tipping-off and confidentiality; and c. Recommendation 33—Statistics
10) Seven (7) Recommendations were upgraded from Partially Compliant to Largely Compliant viz:
- Recommendation 2 – National cooperation and coordination;
- Recommendation 10 – Customer due diligence;
- Recommendation 11 – Record keeping;
- Recommendation 14 – Money or value transfer services;
- Recommendation 17 – Reliance on third parties;
- 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
- 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.