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The Financial Action Task
FATF) is an intergovernmental organisation that was founded on the
request of the G7 in 1989. This body sets the global standard for
countering ‘money laundering, the
financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.’
Made up of 37 member countries, the Financial Action Task Force is widely
considered to be the most influential institution dedicated to tackling
Essentially, the FATF
ensures that its members are taking the necessary steps to uphold their nation’s financial integrity, and implement
preventative measures like
economic sanctions and mandatory due diligence.
There are currently 37 member
countries in the Financial Action Task Force, as well as two regional
organisations – the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council.
These member jurisdictions include most major economies across the globe, but
you can see a full list of participating countries below.
Republic of Korea
Since 2000, the Financial
Action Task Force has released an annual list of “non-cooperative countries or territories” (also known as NCCTs). These are the nations
that failed to work with member jurisdictions to aid the international effort
to quash money laundering and other financial crimes. This was known as the FATF Blacklist, but has more recently been dubbed the Call for Action list.
If a country or territory
is placed on the FATF
Greylist (now known as the list of Other Monitored Jurisdictions), this should be considered an official
warning. If they don’t begin to implement the necessary measures indicated by
the Financial Action Task Force, they’ll eventually be put on the FATF Blacklist.
In 1990, the Financial
Action Task Force issued a list of 40 formal recommendations relating to the prevention of money laundering.
This list has since been updated to incorporate measures against terrorism financing
These FATF recommendations
form the basis for money laundering regulations all over the world. Here are
some of the most significant
recommendations which participating
nations must put in place:
laundering must be criminalised, and the authorities must be able to legally
confiscate the proceeds of it.
risk-based approach should be established; assess how vulnerable your business
is to money laundering and then put appropriate combative measures in place.
jurisdiction must implement an economic sanctions process, to penalise people
or entities who are guilty of financial crimes and prevent further offences
from taking place.
individuals and organisations in FATF countries are legally obliged to report
suspicious transactions to the relevant financial authority.
The FATF recommendations feed heavily into
the different pillars of AML compliance for
businesses in the UK. For example, the Financial Action Task Force defines the
concept of PEPs (or politically exposed persons), and PEP compliance is crucial in meeting AML regulations.
Screening your potential client against PEP lists can
protect your firm from working with individuals who are more vulnerable to
bribery and corruption, due to their prominence in public society.
As well as PEP screenings, the Financial Action
Task Force asks that financial organisations carry
out KYC (know
your customer) checks prior to dealing with them, in order to verify their identity. These
checks, which are also known as customer due diligence, usually
entail confirming your prospective customer’s name, date of birth and address
by searching for them on sanctions lists and the like.
Checks like PEP and KYC
screenings are extremely
carry out manually, and an inefficient
use of company resources. The
SmartSearch verification tool is a unique platform which hugely simplifies AML
checks. Using our automated
system, we can perform
thorough KYC, sanctions and PEP screenings on the Dow Jones WatchList, which is updated daily for maximum accuracy.