Please click on the headings below to read the news for February 2012.
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20/02/2012 - The European Commission takes action to meet FATF’s revised international standards on combating money laundering and terrorist financing
Following FATF’s introduction of new Recommendations on 16 February 2012, the European Commission announced that it will act fast to incorporate the new standards into European Union law. Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier welcomed the adoption of the new FATF standards and pledged the Commission to “take appropriate steps to ensure that these standards are rapidly incorporated into our own European framework” (EUROPA Press Release, 16 February 2012; Commissioner Barnier’s full statement is accessible here). The Commission has launched a review process and expects to adopt a report on the applicability of the existing Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“Third AMLD”) at the end of March 2012, and plans to adopt a legislative proposal to amend the Third AMLD by the end of 2012. More information on the Commission’s work in Financial Crime is available on its website.
The IBA’s Anti-Money Laundering Working Group will ensure that adequate legal representation is present during the EU’s legislative process. If you would like to participate in this matter, please contact Laverne Thomas, Legal Projects Team.
IBA Legal Projects Team
20/12/2012 - FATF revises its list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies
Ghana, Tanzania, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand have all been added to FATF’s so-called “black list” of jurisdictions with unaddressed or unresolved strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. For more information, see the full FATF public statement.
Pakistan has criticised the move as it believes it has already met all international standards through its legislation. Speaking anonymously, government authorities have expressed the view that the move was more an act of the United States “pressuring Pakistan to dictate its terms.” The government of Thailand was more receptive, and is already meeting to push through two laws on money laundering that had lapsed during the previous government, although the Finance Minister did express concerns that being black-listed would harm the country’s finance and tourism industries.
The Honduras and Paraguay were also noted for improvements in their AML/CFT regimes and are no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process (Outcomes of the Plenary meeting of the FATF, Paris, 15-17 February 2012).
IBA Legal Projects Team
16/02/12 - FATF releases a reviewed version of the Recommendations
Today, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body charged with combating money-laundering and terrorist financing, released its newly revised set of 40 Recommendations. The recent revisions came after two years of participation from governments, the private sector and civil society, including active participation of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Implementation Working Group (AMLLIWG).
Click here to view the comments made by the AMLLIWG during the review process.
FATF has informed that the revised Recommendations aim to fully integrate counter-terrorist financing measures with anti-money laundering controls, introduce new measures to counter the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and address the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and tax crimes. They also strengthen the requirements for higher risk situations and allow countries to take a more targeted risk-based approach. Click here for a list of changes and the revised text of the FATF Recommendations.
Stephen Revell, Chair of the IBA AMLLIWG and a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer says, ’We fully support the FATF led fight against money laundering and understand that lawyers have a role to play in combating money laundering. The IBA, through AMLLIWG, has been involved in all the consultations and discussions organised by FATF over the last 2 years. We are however disappointed with many of the outcomes - yet again FATF is increasing the burdens on the private sector including upon lawyers without regard to a cost/benefit analysis and with little hard evidence from typologies. FATF has also failed to take up many of our suggestions for more action by the authorities that would make AML tasks easier eg by requiring member states to publish lists of PEPS. The lack of clarity around the extension of the regime to include "tax crimes" will place a particular burden on lawyers as will virtually all aspects of the "tightening up" of the new rules.’