At a meeting today in Berlin the new anti-money laundering standard was introduced including eight special recommendations to create what it calls a ‘comprehensive, consistent and substantially international framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing’.
All members are expected to implement the new standard and this will occur through a period of self-assessment.
Major changes that have been adopted include:
- specifying a list of crimes that must underpin the money laundering offence;
- the expansion of the customer due diligence process for financial institutions;
- enhanced measures for higher risk customers and transactions, including correspondent banking and politically exposed persons;
- the extension of anti-money laundering measures to designated non-financial businesses and professions (casinos; real estate agents; dealers of precious metals/stones; accountants; lawyers, notaries and independent legal professions; trust and company service providers);
the inclusion of key institutional measures, notably regarding international co-operation;
- the improvement of transparency requirements through adequate and timely information on the beneficial ownership of legal persons such as companies, or arrangements such as trusts;
- the extension of many anti-money laundering requirements to cover terrorist financing; and
- the prohibition of shell banks.
Also at the meeting, South Africa and Russia were accepted as full members, increasing the FATF membership to 31 countries.
And St. Vincent and the Grenadines were removed from the list of non-cooperative countries and territories. Those remaining on the list include the Cook Islands, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar, Naura, Nigeria, Phillipines and Ukraine.
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