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Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering
Abbreviation FATF
Formation 1989
Type Intergovernmental organization
Purpose/focus Combat money laundering and terrorist financing
Headquarters Paris, France
Region served Worldwide
Membership 34 (with 2 observer countries)
Official languages English, French
President Mr. Paul Vlaanderen[1]
Parent organization G7
Affiliations Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)
Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)
The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL)
Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD)
Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)
Website http://www.fatf-gafi.org

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), also known by its French name Groupe d'action financière sur le blanchiment de capitaux (GAFI), is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 by the G7. The purpose of the FATF is to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the OECD in Paris.

Contents

The FATF Forty Recommendations and Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing

The primary policies issued by the FATF are the Forty Recommendations[2] on money laundering and the 9 Special Recommendations (SR) on Terrorist Financing (TF).[3]

Together, the Forty Recommendation and Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing set the international standard for anti-money laundering measures and combating the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts. They set out the principles for action and allow countries a measure of flexibility in implementing these principles according to their particular circumstances and constitutional frameworks. Both sets of FATF Recommendations are intended to be implemented at the national level through legislation and other legally binding measures.

The FATF issued the Forty Recommendations in 1990 and completely revised them in 1996 and 2003.[2] The current (2003) Forty Recommendations require states, among other things, to:

  • implement relevant international conventions
  • criminalise money laundering and enable authorities to confiscate the proceeds of money laundering
  • implement customer due diligence (e.g. identity verification), record keeping and suspicious transaction reporting requirements for financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions
  • establish a financial intelligence unit to receive and disseminate suspicious transaction reports, and
  • cooperate internationally in investigating and prosecuting money laundering.

The FATF issued 8 Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing in October 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The FATF issued a ninth Special Recommendation on Terrorist Financing in October 2004.

The Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing broadly extend the application of the Forty Recommendations to terrorist financing and introduce new requirements relating to services such as alternative remittance, wire transfers and cash couriers as well as non-profit organisations.[citation needed]

List of Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories

In addition to FATF's "Forty plus Nine" Recommendations, in 2000 FATF issued a list of "Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories" (or "NCCTs", and commonly called the FATF Blacklist). This was a list of 15 jurisdictions that, for one reason or another, FATF members believed were uncooperative with other jurisdictions in international efforts against money laundering (and, later, terrorist financing). Typically, this lack of cooperation manifested itself as an unwillingness or inability (frequently, a legal inability) to provide foreign law enforcement officials with information relating to bank account and brokerage records, and customer identification and beneficial owner information relating to such bank and brokerage accounts, shell company, and other financial vehicles commonly used in money laundering.

The effect of the FATF Blacklist has been significant, and arguably has proven more important in international efforts against money laundering than has the FATF Recommendations. While, under international law, the FATF Blacklist carries with it no formal sanction, in reality, a jurisdiction placed on the FATF Blacklist often finds itself under intense financial pressure. As a result of the FATF 40+9 Recommendations (among other initiatives), most[citation needed] countries now require their banks to report certain suspicious financial activities to the appropriate financial regulators and law enforcement authorities. (In the United States, these are called Suspicious Activity Reports or S.A.R.'s.) Most larger countries with significant financial centers consider transactions coming from or transferring to a jurisdiction on the FATF Blacklist to be a suspicious activity, which automatically triggers closer regulatory scrutiny (and considerably more paperwork on the bank's part).[citation needed]

Members

The FATF membership is currently made up of 33 countries and territories and 2 regional organisations. The FATF also works in close co-operation with a number of international and regional bodies involved in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.[citation needed]

  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Brazil
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Denmark
  9. European Commission
  10. Finland
  11. France
  12. Germany
  13. Greece
  14. Gulf Co-operation Council
  15. Hong Kong, China
  16. Iceland
  17. Ireland
  18. Italy
  19. Japan
  20. Kingdom of the Netherlands* : the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
  21. Luxembourg
  22. Mexico
  23. New Zealand
  24. Norway
  25. Portugal
  26. Republic of Korea
  27. Russian Federation
  28. Singapore
  29. South Africa
  30. Spain
  31. Sweden
  32. Switzerland
  33. Turkey
  34. United Kingdom
  35. United States

FATF Associate Members

  • The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)
  • Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)
  • The Council of Europe Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Landering Measures (MONEYVAL)(formerly PC-R-EV)[4]
  • The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD)[5]
  • Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)[6]

Observer members

See also

References

External links

External sources

Hawala, An Informal Payment System and Its Use to Finance Terrorism by Sebastian R. Müller, December 2006, VDM Verlag, ISBN: ISBN 3865506569, ISBN 978-3865506566

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