On 23rd February, FATF published a news release detailing the outcomes of the Plenary held in Paris. The issues and documents involved included –
- Combatting terrorist financing, including the adoption of a new counter-terrorist financing operational plan and a statement on actions taken under 2016 CFT strategy;
- Updated FATF Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing (CFP) – this guidance will help countries understand and implement the financial provisions of UN SCR on proliferation, to ensure that targeted financial sanctions are implemented, and each country has effective mechanisms in place to prevent breaches;
- Amendments to Recommendation 2 on national co-operation and co-ordination – which will expand the Recommendation to include information-sharing between competent authorities, and emphasise that co-operation and co-operation should include co-ordination with the relevant authorities to ensure the compatibility of AML/CFT requirements with Data Protection and Privacy rules and other similar provisions (e.g. data security / localisation). -Improving the compatibility of AML/CFT and DPP rules will facilitate exchange of information within the private sector;
- Discussion of the mutual evaluation report of Iceland – the report is expected to be published by April 2018 after the quality and consistency review;
- Follow-up reports for the mutual evaluations of Spain and Norway where both countries sought technical compliance re-ratings – FATF will publish the follow-up reports which set out the actions that Spain and Norway have taken to strengthen the effectiveness of their measures;
- Brazil’s progress in addressing the deficiencies identified in its mutual evaluation report since it agreed an action plan in November 2017;
- 2 public documents identifying jurisdictions that may pose a risk to the international financial system:
- AML/CFT improvements in Bosnia and Herzegovina – FATF congratulated it for the significant progress made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies earlier identified by the FATF and included in its action plan, and it will no longer be subject to the FATF’s monitoring under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process, and will work with MONEYVAL as it continues to further strengthen their AML/CFT regime.
NO MENTION OF PAKISTAN
On 23rd February, DAWN in Pakistan points out, rightly, that despite multiple reports in international media to the contrary, Pakistan has, at least for now, not been included in a list of countries with “strategic deficiencies” with respect to AML/CFT.
FATF AGAIN DELAYS IRAN PENALTIES
The Wall Street Journal on 23rd February reported that FATF had said it would again extend the suspension of some penalties against Iran, but threatened action in June.