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UK Government Praises Caribbean Jurisdictions For Anti-Money Laundering Progress

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

06 December 2001


The United Kingdom government has praised the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda for the progress which they have made in the last year towards the establishment of effective anti-money laundering frameworks.

In 1999, the United Kingdom, Bermuda, and the Caribbean Overseas Territories, namely Anguilla, BVI, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands, commissioned an independent KPMG review of the Overseas Territories' compliance with international anti-money laundering and best practice standards.

Following the investigation, the results of which were published in October 2000, all parties concerned made a commitment to implement three priority measures by the end of September 2001. These were: the establishment of independent regulatory authorities, the introduction of investigative powers to assist enquiries by overseas regulators, and the establishment of comprehensive anti-money laundering frameworks.

Speaking on Friday, the Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury, Ruth Kelly, was full of praise for the advances which had been made: 'In the year following publication of the KPMG report, the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda have made good progress in implementing measures in our three agreed priority areas,' she observed.

Ms Kelly went on to reveal that all of the Caribbean Overseas Territories now have an anti-money laundering framework in place, with the Cayman Islands, BVI, Turks and Caicos and Montserrat particularly singled out for praise for their progress towards the provision of assistance to foreign regulators. Turks and Caicos was again lauded in the context of the establishment of an independent regulatory authority, alongside BVI, Anguilla, Montserrat, and Bermuda.

Baroness Amos, the UK Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories was slightly more measured in her praise, observing that: 'there is still work to be done.' However, she said that she welcomed the progress already made by the Caribbean jurisdictions, and promised Britain's continuing support.


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