What is The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)?

Being one of the associate members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) was primarily founded as a result of several meetings convened with the local state delegates back in the 1900s. The Caribbean States recommended establishing the CFATF to carry out the 40 suggestions of FATF to promote measures against money laundering and terrorism financing at these meetings. The CFATF is an official organization involving 25 separate territories in and around the Caribbean basin. Not being a member of this organization, other global countries are to take part in by co-operating and supporting this constitution like Canada, France, the US, and others. Besides, there are a bunch of anti-crime organizations that take sides with The CFATF  as an observer.

Map of Caribbean basin illustrating the members of the CFATF.

Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)

The CFATF is being directed by its Council of Ministers and involves one ambassador from each member state. Elected in 2018-2019, the chairmen of the CFATF are Dale Marshall, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs for Barbados. The organization is managed by different departments that administer both technical and official duties: the CFATF Steering Group, an advisory commission, and the Secretariat. With the pursuit of various strategies and implementations for measures against money laundering all across the Caribbean, the CFTAF assembles meetings at least twice a year. 


What is The Mission of The CFATF?

The primary purpose of the CFATF is to lead the strive against money laundering and terrorism financing by promoting Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering  (AML) and  Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) programs that encapsulate the standards whose framework was determined by the FATF. The 40 Recommendations, which were promoted by the FATF, were formed resulting from the need of financial institutions to apply for risk-based AML/CFT programs.  These recommendations entail satisfied customer due diligence procedures and screen for global sanctions, adverse media, and politically exposed people.


Local Role of The CFATF 

Although The CFATF does not possess AML/CFT standards itself, it pursues the standards listed by FATF in its path for monitoring, supervision, and enforcement. The approach of the CFATF to prevent financial terrorist acts comprise of  four phases:

  • Mutual Evaluations: Member-states of the CFATF evaluate each other's FATF compliance results. These assessments are then published as reports on the CFATF website.
  • Follow Up Reports: Following the evaluation of Mutual Evaluation Reports, member-states submit follow-up reports detailing their success in adopting the 40 Recommendations.
  • General Meetings: The CFATF conducts plenary meetings at least twice a year in different parts of the Caribbean. Discussions of shortcomings found in Mutual Evaluation Reports and any AML/CFT problems applicable to member-states will take place during the meetings.
  • Training and Guidance: The Secretariat of the CFATF offers training and accreditation to member-states to properly implement FATF requirements and evaluate the success of their regional financial institutions. The CFATF could also serve as a link between member states and donors looking to provide technical assistance.


CFATF Working Groups

The CFATF hosts a range of working groups devoted to gathering and reviewing financial data, implementing policies, and exchanging information among member states with the intention to achieve its FATF AML/CFT objectives. The aforementioned working groups are:

The International Cooperation Review Group

The ICRG examines international coordination on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing issues and makes recommendations for the general meeting sessions conducted at least twice a year under the supervision of CTAFT, aiming to implement the 40 Recommendations proposed by FAFT.

Working Group on FATF Issues

The WGFI is committed to working with the FATF's Evaluations and Compliance Group and Policy Development Group and following their lead.

Working Group on Risks Trends and Methods

The RTMG encourages the exchange of intelligence related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing activities in the Caribbean Basin.

Head of Financial Intelligence Units Forum

HoFIU is committed to improving knowledge sharing among CFATF member states and CFATF and its global co-operating, supporting partners, and observer organizations.

Accreditation Council

The Accreditation Council is in charge of developing a program to prepare and accreditation of CFATF financial intelligence unit inspectors, researchers, and supervisors.