Caribbean Financial Action Task Force publishes report on Antigua and Barbuda

Croft (OBSERVER media photo)

Recently, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) published Antigua and Barbuda’s 3rd Follow-Up Report and Technical Compliance Re-rating in addressing the AML/CFT deficiencies identified in its 2018 Mutual Evaluation Report.

The Follow Up report indicates that of the 40 Financial Action Task Force Recommendations, the country now has 36 Recommendations rated either Compliant or Largely compliant, one of only a few countries in the region to achieve this level of compliance, giving it at the time of publication, the third highest rating in the region after the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The re-rating exercise requires that the country’s AML/CFT/CPF legal framework meet the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The National Oversight Committee on Financial Action (NOCFA) chaired by the Prime Minister, the Hon Gaston Browne is committed and actively working to ensure that the country is properly prepared for the new upcoming round of re-ratings of the remaining areas of concern that the CFATF has recommended for improvement to bring the legal framework fully up to international standards.

The preparations involve updating law and policy to meet the criteria set out in the FATF Methodology and its Recommendations, the results of which will be submitted to the CFATF by end of April 2022 for assessment.

After the re-rating application is decided on at the CFATF Plenary, there will commence an intense and detailed process of preparation for the next Mutual Evaluation scheduled to take place in 2025.

The Director of the ONDCP, Lt. Col Edward Croft commented on the publication of the CFATF Report, saying that he is “pleased with the results which reflect the accomplishment of a tremendous amount of work and expresses appreciation to all stakeholders for their contributions and support. It should be noted however that there remains a lot of work to be done and we seek the continued assistance of the Government, the Regulators, law enforcement agencies, the Supervisory authorities, Inland Revenue, the Central Bank, Office of the DPP, Intellectual Property office, Legal Affairs, financial institutions and non-financial institutions in pursuit of continued improvement towards meeting the FATF international standards.”

The recent results strengthen the country’s ability to recover from the downturn in the economy due to the pandemic. Investors often check updated reports of a country’s AML/CFT/CFP status in the international community in determining the risk associated with investing in the country.

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