Bermuda’s regulatory regime is among the most effective in the world for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation, according to a mutual evaluation report (MER) of its systems and framework.
The MER was conducted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the global inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The bodies praised “the outstanding work that has been done to comply with the FATF 40 Recommendations, used by 180 governments to protect the integrity of the international financial system.”
Of the more than 75 MERs published to date, Bermuda ranks first against the technical compliance requirements, with 39 of the 40 recommendations rated as compliant or largely compliant.
In the eleven areas that were evaluated for effectiveness, Bermuda received one rating of high effectiveness and six ratings of substantial effectiveness. It is in the top six for its overall level of effectiveness and is one of only two jurisdictions with a high level of effectiveness in relation to its risk assessment and domestic coordination mechanisms.
Curtis Dickinson, Bermuda’s minister of finance, said Bermuda’s government has already started work to address recommendations made in the MER, including imbedding new requirements in relation to beneficial ownership.
It is also working to implement its framework for licensing and supervision of relevant private trust companies and to ensure the appropriate oversight of privately funded charities.
“Given the global community in which we live, there will always be more that can be done,” Dickenson said. “Consistent with the national policy and Bermuda’s understanding of the importance of regularly updating our evaluation of our money laundering/terrorist financing risks, Bermuda has already commenced work on its next TF National Risk Assessment,” he added.
Andy Burrows, CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, called it “a significant accomplishment and serves to highlight the exceptional quality of Bermuda’s offering when it comes to doing global business.”
Burrows added: “Our blue-chip reputation is something that has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of the Bermuda government, the regulator and industry working together.”
The FATF mutual evaluation takes 14 months to complete, with Bermuda’s review commencing in March 2018. Its first submission was in relation to technical compliance, with further submissions made during the subsequent six months, followed by an on-site review.
Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, Financial Action Task Force, Curtis Dickinson, Andy Burrows