Jamaica is now compliant or largely compliant with 27 of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) 40 recommendations.
The Financial Action Task Force is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
“[This is] 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,” Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, pointed out.
The Minister was delivering a statement in the House of Representatives on January 19.
Dr. Clarke explained that 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.
He said 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).
Dr. Clarke noted that 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. 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,” he noted.
“I am happy to report that Jamaica received upgrades in 12 of those Recommendations, while the rating remained unchanged for six recommendations. Jamaica received one downgrade as a result of changes in the requirements of that Recommendation post the finalisation of our last mutual evaluation,” Dr. Clarke added.
The Minister said that 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.
Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke said the positive outcomes reported are in large part due to the tremendous cooperation and collaboration among public sector agencies that are a part of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), chaired by the Bank of Jamaica.
He especially recognised 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 Counsel; the Financial Services Commission (FSC); the Financial Investigations Division (FID); and the Bank of Jamaica.