Financial Action Task Force Publishes Outcomes Of Its February 2019 Plenary Meeting
02/22/2019The Financial Action Task Force has published the outcomes from its Plenary meeting that took place in Paris on February 20-22, 2019. The FATF considered key issues such as the operations and streamlining of the FATF, major and other strategic initiatives and mutual evaluations.
One of the major strategic initiatives covered by the Plenary was the FATF's work on mitigating money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual asset activities. The FATF published an amended Recommendation 15 in October 2018, clarifying that its standards apply to exchanges, wallet providers and providers of financial services for Initial Coin Offerings. The FATF has now published a draft Interpretative Note to Recommendation 15 to further clarify how the FATF Standards apply to activities involving virtual assets. The Interpretative Note has been finalized except for one section, which will be the subject of a public consultation in May this year. That section concerns the duty of virtual asset service providers to obtain and hold originator and beneficiary information on virtual asset transfers and submit such information to beneficiary service providers and counterparts (if any) as well as provide it on request to appropriate authorities. Following the consultation, the FATF intends to fully finalize the Interpretative Note and adopt it in June 2019.
The Plenary also considered the FATF's current action taken to combat terrorist financing. To assist countries with identifying and understanding the terrorist financing risks that affect them, the FATF will publish guidance on Terrorist Financing Risk Assessments in June 2019. This follows a finding that nearly two-thirds of countries assessed by the FATF are not taking effective action to investigate and prosecute terrorist financing. The FATF also recognized that most countries still have not fully implemented the FATF Standards in an effective manner. At the Plenary, the FATF considered new priority actions for combatting the financing of terrorism, and agreed to extend its work to more comprehensively understand how terrorist financing risks are changing, improving the global implementation of its Standards and supporting the development of CFT regimes in higher-risk regions through its global network.
The Plenary also discussed: (i) the FATF report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on its work programme on preventing the misuse of virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing; and (ii) the FATF risked-based approach guidance for lawyers, accountants and trust and company service providers, which was released for public consultation on February 25, 2019. The public consultation can be found here.
Finally, the Plenary approved the appointment of the incoming FATF Vice-President for 2019-2021, Dr. Marcus Pleyer, Deputy Director General of the Finance Markets Department of the German Federal Ministry of Finance.
View the published outcomes.
View the FATF's public statement on mitigating risks from virtual assets.
View the FATF's summary of current efforts to monitor and take action against terrorist financing.
View details of the FATF's October 2018 plenary.
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