New National Strategy to combat money laundering on the Isle of Man

Friday 20 May 2016

In March the Isle of Man Government released its new National Strategy to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The National Strategy is based on the results from the island’s first National Risk Assessment which took place throughout 2014 and 2015.  

The National Risk Assessment identified actions that were required to deliver a more effective approach to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The Strategy has ten goals. These are:

  • Ensure the provision of timely and effective international co-operation.
  • Refine national anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism policy making and legislative process.
  • Improve the collection and the analysis of data for national risk assessment and for other anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism purposes.
  • Ensure that the Financial Intelligence Unit is fully enabled to fulfil domestic and international obligations.
  • Implement revised structures for investigations into money laundering and the financing of terrorism and assess effectiveness.
  • Promote measures to increase asset forfeiture and recovery, including civil recovery.
  • Examine the implementation and enforcement of sanctions.
  • Implement oversight and supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions and assess progress.
  • Implement enhanced measures at the border to strengthen controls on cash and similar instruments and assess effectiveness.
  • Promote training and awareness of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism within Government.

Estate agents were identified under ‘Threats and Vulnerabilities’ and included as a sector in the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) that act as gatekeepers to the financial system. This is important for our members because estate agents on the island need to be licenced by either the NAEA or RICS to practice. 

The National Strategy says that provisions available in the Isle of Man for obtaining beneficial ownership information were assessed as satisfactory by the National Risk Assessment. However, there is an action in the Strategy to establish a central register for beneficial ownership which will be available to law enforcement and other competent authorities. 

More recently in May a team of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing experts from the Council of Europe visited the Isle of Man to inspect the island’s anti-money laundering measures. The Council of Europe is a separate institution to the European Union. It is an international organisation focused on promoting democracy, the rule of law, economic development and human rights.  The team will publish a report later this year. 

Over the past few months the Panama Papers has put the spot light on money laundering and off shore services. The NAEA believes that the Isle of Man’s National Strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing will enhance the island’s reputation as a co-operative offshore financial centre that is committed to meeting international standards.    

See the full Isle of Man strategy