The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association, represented by speaker Karen O’Brien, will be making a mark at upcoming Caribbean Financial Action Task Force 4th AML/Compliance Conference 2007 in Trinidad on 5 November.
As CIREBA’s contracted compliance officer, Ms. O’Brien will be making a presentation on how the Cayman Islands created a culture of compliance for the real estate industry.
‘It’s a real honour for CIREBA to be selected to speak at the conference,’ says CIREBA president James Bovell.
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is an organisation of thirty Caribbean states implementing common countermeasures to prevent and control money laundering and to combat the financing of terrorism. It is a regional arm of the international Financial Action Task Force, a 34-member international body.
The on-site portion of the CFATF peer assessment of the Cayman Islands, the third CFATF mutual evaluation exercise that Cayman has undergone, took place from 4 to 15 June, 2007.
The review team comprised five assessors representing CFATF and FATF regulators from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad, Canada and the USA. It conducted working sessions with CIMA as well as meetings with the Financial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice, and representatives of the Financial Reporting Authority, the Financial Crime Unit, the Legal Department, Customs, and the General Registry.
The meeting assessed Cayman’s compliance with Financial Action Task Force’s so-called 40 Recommendations.
This set of recommendations, plus an additional nine dealing specifically with terrorist financing, provide a complete set of counter-measures against money laundering covering the criminal justice system and law enforcement, the financial system and its regulation, and international co-operation.
In its capacity as a professional body, CIREBA also met with the review team and came out with flying colours.
‘They were quite surprised by how much we do and how far we have taken it, all voluntarily,’ says Mr. Bovell.
‘It places us as a uniquely shining example in the Caribbean in that our organization has successfully created a culture of compliance, basically another feather in Cayman’s regulatory cap.’
CIREBA members are trained and adhere to such activities as doing due diligence on the source of an individual’s proceeds, confirming identities of purchasers and sellers, and providing eligible introducers.
‘Basically, there is a whole manual you have to learn, and CIREBA members are doing it,’ says Mr. Bovell.
The CFATF team is now in the process of compiling its report and will have follow-up discussions with the Cayman representatives. It is expected that the final report will be tabled at the CFATF plenary in Costa Rica in November 2008.