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UAE's Positive Step Towards FATF Grey List Removal and Cayman Islands' AML Regime Recognized

FATF President Raja Kumar's confirmation of an upcoming on-site visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before February 2024 has been met with enthusiasm in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This announcement signifies a significant step towards the UAE's potential removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) global watchlist, commonly referred to as the "grey list."

UAE's Positive Step Towards FATF Grey List Removal and Cayman Islands' AML Regime Recognized

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, expressed his welcoming stance regarding the FATF's president's declaration, saying, "The UAE looks forward to welcoming the FATF assessment team to the UAE, and further demonstrating the enhanced and sustained effectiveness of our AML/CFT framework. Cooperation with strategic international partners is critical to contributing to the global effort to detect and disrupt all forms of financial crime."

Khaled Mohammed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Chairman of the UAE National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations Committee, emphasized the UAE's commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the global financial system. He stated, "The increased resources and expertise we have put in place underpin the UAE's continued commitment to combatting economic crime and disrupting illicit networks, both at home and abroad."

Hamid AlZaabi, Director General of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, added that the FATF's announcement acknowledges the diligent efforts made by various UAE authorities to meet the Action Plan, and they will continue working with partners and stakeholders to fulfill their long-term sustainable AML/CFT plan.

Compliance Services

In a separate development, Cayman Finance CEO Steve McIntosh welcomed the FATF's recognition of the Cayman Islands' anti-money laundering regime as compliant and effective. He highlighted the Cayman Islands' robust regulatory and legal framework as a key factor in instilling confidence among asset managers, investors, and clients conducting business in the jurisdiction.

McIntosh stressed that the FATF's acknowledgment signifies not only the high level of technical compliance with global anti-money laundering standards in the Cayman Islands but also their effective application in practice. He mentioned that the Cayman Islands' regulatory capacity and practices have been carefully reviewed by organizations such as the FATF and the European Union, confirming their alignment with global standards for transparency, anti-money laundering, and tax governance, which are at least on par with, if not superior to, most major economies.

To maintain this standing, extensive efforts have been dedicated to strengthening financial services legislation and implementing new regulations in the Cayman Islands. McIntosh credited the collaborative relationship between the Cayman Islands government and the financial services industry for consistently adhering to global standards.

In conclusion, these developments mark significant progress in the UAE's efforts to enhance its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures and the Cayman Islands' commitment to maintaining its reputation as a compliant and effective jurisdiction for financial services.



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