The Isle of Man Government has updated its stance against money laundering and the financing of terrorism with a new national strategy published on Thursday March 24, 2016.
The document sets out priority goals and actions identified following a review of existing defences – a national risk assessment (NRA) – carried out across the public and private sectors in 2014/15.
The NRA, also published today, was conducted ahead of this year’s evaluation of the Isle of Man by MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe body which monitors compliance with the latest international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Standards are set in the form of comprehensive recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering organisation established in 1989 by the G7 countries and the European Commission.
Undertaking a national risk assessment is now a recommendation of the Financial Action Task Force. The process helps governments and business to allocate anti-money laundering resources to where they are most needed and most effective.
In a foreword to the Isle of Man national risk assessment Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK writes of the Island’s: ‘continuing commitment to uphold the highest international standards in protecting our economy against criminal abuse.’
The Chief Minister stated: ‘Money laundering and terrorist financing present global threats, against which all countries have a responsibility to provide robust defences. This is a responsibility that the Isle of Man takes particularly seriously.
‘As a recognised centre for international business and finance, the Island is home to many successful companies which have a significant presence around the world. We are determined to protect the reputation and integrity of our business community by ensuring that the Isle of Man is not a place where criminals can find a welcome.’
Mr Bell notes that considerable further progress has been made since the national risk assessment was finalised in the summer of 2015, including the passage of legislation establishing a separate Financial Intelligence Unit.
The last major assessment of the Isle of Man against the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force was conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2008, when the Island was found to have a high level of compliance with the standards in place at that time.
Standards have continued to develop and the forthcoming MONEYVAL assessment of the Isle of Man will be at the highest level of evaluation available, considering the effectiveness of measures against money laundering and terrorist financing as well as the legislative framework.