This client briefing provides an update following ongoing consultation regarding the implementation of the new Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2017 (AML Regulations), which came into force in the Cayman Islands on 2 October 2017, and the updated guidance notes (Guidance Notes) issued by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) on 13 December 2017. See our briefing note of November 2017 providing a summary of the changes brought about by the AML Regulations.

Some of the language used in the Guidance Notes created areas of uncertainty, particularly within the investment funds industry. As such, earlier this year Ogier, along with other representatives of the Cayman Islands financial industry, consulted CIMA regarding these matters. On 29 March 2018, CIMA provided a written response to three key questions raised by industry.  

In high-level summary, the three issues raised sought clarification with respect to: (i) the requirement for a designated anti-money laundering compliance officer, money laundering reporting officer and deputy money laundering reporting officer in certain circumstances; (ii) the requirement for gap analysis in certain circumstances where dealing with jurisdictions outside of the Cayman Islands; and (iii) the interpretation of specific sections of Regulation 23 of the AML Regulations (which, inter alia, deals with wire transfers).

Many of the initial areas of uncertainty have been addressed in CIMA's written response and CIMA has confirmed that, subject to the approval of CIMA's board of directors, it will amend the language of the relevant paragraphs of the Guidance Notes.

However, a few critical areas of clarification are still required and so the consultation process with CIMA is on-going. We will contact clients as soon as these remaining questions have been addressed; at that time we will be able to provide clear and finite practical advice as to next steps. In the meantime, CIMA has provided comfort regarding any enforcement action related to unresolved matters by reminding industry that it will always act responsibly, rationally, proportionately and in a manner that is procedurally fair.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.