3 Mar 2004

Cook Islands assessing report from International Monetary Fund

2:36 pm on 3 March 2004

A report by the International Monetary Fund will provide further direction for the Cook Islands as it continues its push to get off a money-laundering blacklist.

Cath Kara, the head of the Cook's Financial Intelligence Unit, says an IMF team has just left the country following a two week assessment of its new banking regime and legislation.

The Cook Islands remains on the Financial Action Taskforce blacklist, despite the changes to its banking laws and the set up of a Financial Supervisory Commission.

Ms Kara says the changes must be proven to work and the IMF report will help determine what must be done next in terms of implementation.

"What the IMF report does is give you basically a stick in the sand, saying this is where you're at, as of today - these are the things that would assist you in complying with Basle core principles which are the international standards for banking and these are some other things that will help you in relation to the FATF recommendations."

Cath Kara says a working group will now look at the IMF report and respond to it within a couple of weeks.