Cayman Says UK FCA High-Risk Country List Flawed

The Chief Executive Officer of Cayman Finance, Gonzalo Jalles, has censured the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s decision to include the Cayman Islands in its updated list of jurisdictions considered to be “high risk” for involvement with illicit flows of money.

Jalles said: “The fact that they have listed Cayman despite our long standing commitment to transparency and good rating as per the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/Financial Action Task Force (OECD/FATF) clearly upsets us. However, what is even more upsetting is the FCA’s hypocrisy.”

“The FCA preaches for transparency. In April of this year they published a Transparency Discussion paper, and in the introduction they state: ‘As a public body, we should be as open and accountable as possible. We are open to being scrutinized by consumers, firms and Parliament.’ However, they do not practice what they preach. The methodology for the construction of this list is not disclosed and we have serious reasons to believe it is poorly constructed and fundamentally flawed.”

“We would be willing and able to submit their analysis to a … rigorous independent analysis, however my guess is there has not been enough work behind it, and the FCA is likely to resist opening it to independent scrutiny.”

“We are convinced, in line with OECD/FATF reviews, that Cayman is at the forefront of combating and preventing financial crime, and evidence shows that we are at a similar or higher standing than the UK themselves, certainly in regards to beneficial ownership information.”

“I publicly defy the FCA to practice what they preach… transparency,” he concluded.

The FCA list is said to have been drawn up to “categorize jurisdictions in accordance with the current level of risk posed by firms and other actors operating in these jurisdictions…” It said the list is one of a number of tools used by its Authorizations Division to help inform the effective assessment and processing of applications from firms seeking to conduct regulated financial service activities in the UK.

 

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