- Source: complianceweek.com and fatf-gafi.org
Albania, the Cayman Islands, Jordan, and Panama have achieved a major milestone in restoring their respective financial reputations with their removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list,” as confirmed by a recent report. Conversely, Bulgaria has recently been added to this list, indicating areas needing improvement in its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. Numbering 23 countries as of October 27th, the grey list encompasses countries that have noted deficiencies within their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Treliant, with its extensive expertise in OFAC and sanctions requirements, offers tailored, sustainable compliance programs for local and global businesses and financial institutions, including those transacting with entities in the aforementioned jurisdictions. Treliant not only helps organizations adhere to international standards, but also plays a vital role in safeguarding the integrity of the global financial system as a whole.
Albania’s removal from the FATF grey list is a testament to its concerted efforts in strengthening its AML/CFT regime since February 2020. The country has made substantial strides in understanding and mitigating money laundering risks and ensuring timely access to accurate and up-to-date ownership information. Albania has also improved the handling of mutual legal assistance requests and fortified mechanisms to prevent criminal infiltration of the economy. With a focus on increasing prosecutions and improving the implementation of targeted financial sanctions, Albania has demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding international AML/CFT standards. The country’s continued collaboration with Comité d’Experts sur l’Évaluation des Mesures de Lutte contre le Blanchiment de Capitaux et le Financement du Terrorisme (MONEYVAL) – the local FATF-style regional body will help it to maintain these improvements.
The Cayman Islands have made significant advancements in their AML/CFT regime since February 2021, leading to their removal from the FATF grey list. The jurisdiction has implemented effective sanctions, ensured the accuracy of beneficial ownership information, and demonstrated a capability to prosecute all types of money laundering, in line with its risk profile. The Cayman Islands’ continued efforts in partnership with Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to will help to sustain and build upon these improvements.
Jordan’s efforts to bolster its AML/CFT regime since October 2021 have also culminated in its removal from the FATF grey list. The country has successfully addressed strategic deficiencies through the utilization of risk assessments, enhanced supervision, updated ownership information, and a strengthened legal framework for financial sanctions. Jordan’s continued work with Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) will help to ensure the longevity of these improvements.
Panama’s exit from the FATF grey list marks a major achievement in enhancing its AML/CFT regime since June 2019. The country has demonstrated a robust understanding of money laundering / terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks, improved supervision and sanctions, worked to ensure accurate beneficial ownership information, and enhanced its ability to investigate and prosecute money laundering. Panama’s continued partnership with Grupo de Acción Financiera de Latinoamérica (GAFILAT) will help to maintain these advancements.
Contrarily, Bulgaria was recently added to the FATF grey list, and is now under increased monitoring to strategically address deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime. The country will need to implement a comprehensive action plan, including risk-based supervision, updating beneficial ownership information, and improving money laundering investigations.
The shifting landscape of the FATF grey list reflects the ongoing global commitment to enhance anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. The success of Albania, the Cayman Islands, Jordan, and Panama in addressing systemic issues and exiting the list speaks to the effectiveness of sustained regulatory efforts and international cooperation. However, the addition of Bulgaria serves as a stark reminder that AML/CFT reform is an ongoing process, necessitating vigilance and continuous improvement.
Treliant’s role in providing advisory services in this area becomes increasingly vital in this context, ensuring that businesses and financial institutions remain aligned with evolving international standards and continue to contribute to the broader initiative of maintaining financial integrity across the globe.
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