Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Release Date:
Monday, 26 February 2024 - 10:16am






Premier Honourable Dr Natalio Wheatley has reacted to today’s publication of the Mutual Evaluation Report (Report) of the Virgin Islands by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

The Government has welcomed the Report and confirmed that it is committed to rigorously implementing its recommendations, as laid out in the National Action Plan, also published today. This implementation process will be observed by the CFATF through its follow-up process.

Premier Wheatley said: “We know high standards of financial integrity and transparency that meet global standards are essential. The Government has prioritised resources to support the work outlined in the Action Plan and I am confident that our public and private sectors will work together to ensure that we progress successfully.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna Smith, OBE said: “The Report made a number of Recommendations and I can verify that a number of these actions are already underway.

These include:

  • Commencement of a revision of the National Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Policy
  • Updating and implementing risk assessment frameworks and inspection processes of the FIA and Financial Services Commission (FSC)
  • Implementation of the virtual assets service provider (VASP) regulatory framework by the FSC
  • Drafting of legislation to address minor technical gaps identified in the Report
  • Ensuring that maintenance of beneficial ownership information is directly with a public authority
  • Commencement of the terrorist financing risk assessment of Non-Profit Organisations by the Financial Investigations Agency (FIA)
  • The establishment of a specific Sanctions Unit within the Attorney General’s Chambers to ensure greater efficiency in dealing with all sanctions related matters
  • Specific training for law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities on money laundering investigative techniques and sanctions compliance
  • Measures to enhance coordination and cooperation amongst law enforcement agencies and other competent authorities
  • Plans to update our terrorist financing risk assessment and assess the specific risk posed to the jurisdiction by legal persons and legal arrangements.   
  • The introduction of a Compliance and Governance Master Course to provide industry professionals with essential knowledge and skills.”

Attorney General, Honourable Dawn J. Smith confirmed that implementation of the National Action Plan has started.

The Attorney General said: “The Minister’s presence at the CFATF Plenary in  November 2023 demonstrated the high level of commitment of the Virgin Islands Government, its respect for the CFATF and its responsibilities as a part of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Global Network.  We have a strong legislative framework in place and I believe this, together with the robust partnership between the public and private sectors, means that we will be able to safeguard the integrity of our business and financial services sector and implement the CFATF Recommendations in good time and to its satisfaction.”

Minister Smith added “All of those engaged in business and financial services in the Virgin Islands - whether in the public or private sector – must recognise that there are those who would misuse our services. Our goal is to ensure that the Virgin Islands is always a hostile environment for illegitimate financial activity. The partnership between ourselves, our competent authorities, law enforcement agencies and the private sector, to identify and address the risks we face is vital. We must work together even more closely to mitigate them and successfully pursue the prosecution of financial crime.”


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