Anti-Money Laundering Return 2021
Please complete and submit this Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”), Counter Terrorism Financing (“CTF”), Counter Proliferation Financing (“CPF”) and Targeted Financial Sanctions (“TFS”) Return (collectively referred to as “AML Return”) in accordance with the requirement under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2020 Revision) (“AMLRs”) of the Cayman Islands to produce information to the Supervisory Authority, Cayman Attorneys Regulation Authority (“CARA”), specific to AMLR 55E (2) (h).
All Attorney-at-Law Firms (including Sole Practitioners) conducting Relevant Financial Business (“RFB”) in the Cayman Islands must complete an AML Return on an annual basis and submit it to CARA by the deadline stated.
We note that if you are currently registered with CARA, you have previously declared in your registration form that you as a Sole Practitioner or your Firm conducts, has conducted, or intended to conduct RFB as defined in Schedule 6 of the Proceeds of Crime Law (2020 Revision) (“POCL”) of the Cayman Islands.
Who is not required to complete an AML Return?
If any of the following apply to you or your Firm, you will not need to complete an AML Return:
- You sold or closed your practice.
- Your practice was merged with or acquired by another practice.
- You did not provide any ‘relevant financial business’ during the Relevant Period and are not registered with CARA.
- You are registered with CARA and your practice began after 31 December 2020. (Please note you will need to complete an AML Return next year).
- The AML Return solicits information about the ‘relevant financial business’ that you or your Firm conducted in the Relevant Period. The information in the AML Return, enables CARA to:
- assess inherent money laundering (“ML”), terrorism finance (“TF”), proliferation finance (“PF”) and sanctions risks both within individual supervised Firms/Sole Practitioners and across the legal sector. The results of any analysis inform our risk-based approach to supervision and monitoring and ensure we apply our resources commensurate with risks posed;
- obtain data for both regulatory reporting and for national and sectoral risk assessment purposes;
- determine if Firms and Sole Practitioners need any extra assistance in meeting their AML compliance obligations; and
- improve and direct our guidance and outreach to Firms and Sole Practitioners.
- While we understand that exact numbers may be more difficult, you or your Firm must give percentages and robust figure estimates (where applicable) to the best of your capability. You and your Firm should be able to provide reasonable justification for any estimates to CARA, if requested.
- Responses to the questions in the AML Return should refer only to your RFB clients and associated matters as defined in Schedule 6 of the POCL. Please do not include any legal services in your answers that fall outside the scope of RFB.
- The Relevant Period covered by the questions in this Return is 01 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.
- If your Firm is part of a multi-domiciliary/multinational with a separate legal entity outside of the Cayman Islands, you should answer the questions to the extent they pertain to the Cayman Islands legal entity. However, where your Firm is a parent to any subsidiary (which is a law firm) conducting RFB, you must capture that subsidiary’s business in this AML Return if the fees go through the parent entity. This covers overseas subsidiaries providing legal services, not Cayman-based Corporate Service Providers that are regulated by CIMA.
- For percentage questions, kindly note the default percentage will be 0% unless you change this option. If left as 0%, we will consider this your answer.
- Please accept this as notice of the fact that you will need to collate, aggregate and report the data requested in this Return, both for the purposes of completing all future AML Returns and it will assist in answering questions from CARA as part of our on-site inspections, desk-based reviews and thematic work.
- In some parts of the Return, we acknowledge that the data provided to us will be more precise in the future. We accept that it is difficult to provide data you may not have been routinely collecting and aggregating, and we require you to give robust estimates in these cases. However, some data (e.g., number of PEPs) forms the foundation for compliance with the AMLRs, and you should be able to provide this information forthwith.
Deadline for submission
Please complete and submit this AML Return on or before Friday 14 May 2021.
Please do not return paper copies as submissions. All submissions must be made electronically via our website
To assist you in completing the form, we have produced an FAQs, which is available here.
For ease of reference, a PDF version of the relevant footnotes contained in the AML Return is available here.
We recommend printing a copy of the AML Return (available here) preparing your answers in advance and have the copy to hand when you submit your responses online. The copy of the Return is for reference only and your AML Return must be completed online.
Penalties for not submitting an AML Return
We are asking Firms and Sole Practitioners to complete this Return as it will assist the Cayman Islands in meeting its international obligations.
However, if you fail to submit an AML Return by the deadline stated and we give you formal written notice such that you are required to submit a Return (under Regulation 53(A)), you can be fined.
It is also an offence to give false or misleading information in your AML Return (or to contravene the AMLRs themselves, see Regulation 56). We are asking you to engage constructively in this process and we have produced a FAQ sheet to assist.