Shearman & Sterling LLP | Financial Regulatory Developments Focus | G20 Sets October 2018 Deadline for Financial Action Task Force to Clarify AML/CTF Standards For Crypto Assets
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  • G20 Sets October 2018 Deadline for Financial Action Task Force to Clarify AML/CTF Standards For Crypto Assets
    07/23/2018
    The G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors have issued a communiqué following their meeting in Buenos Aires on July 21 - 22, 2018. Among other things, the communiqué requests that the Financial Action Task Force clarify, by October 2018, how its global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards apply to crypto assets.

    The FATF's global standards (also known as the 40 Recommendations) promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. However, the FATF standards do not refer explicitly to crypto assets or the associated service providers and intermediaries, which creates uncertainty as to the scope of AML/CTF obligations that may apply to them.

    The FATF has undertaken a stock-take of the different regulatory approaches that have been taken to crypto assets and began work in June 2018 on review of its standards. The FATF reported to the G20 in July on how it planned to take forward its work on crypto assets and its plan to consider, in October 2018, whether it needs to update its 40 Recommendations to reflect the technical aspects of crypto assets. The FATF has identified an immediate need to clarify how FATF definitions and recommendations on customer due diligence, money or value transfer services, wire transfers, supervision and enforcement apply to crypto assets providers and related businesses. In addition to this, the FATF plans to update its 2015 Risk-Based Approach Guidance on Virtual Currencies.

    The new October 2018 deadline set by the G20 will necessitate the FATF completing its review within a tighter timeframe and may even require it to re-prioritize some of the planned workstreams for the U.S. presidency of the FATF, which runs from July 2018 to June 2019.

    View the G20 Communiqué.

    View details of the FATF's July 2018 report to the G20.

    View the current FATF standards.

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