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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global body that sets standards and provides guidance for combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing. FATF Plenary, held three times a year, brings together representatives from FATF member jurisdictions, observer countries, and international organisations. 

The most recent FATF plenary, held from February 21st to 23rd, 2024, brought together delegates from the FATF’s Global Network of over 200 jurisdictions as well as observers from international organisations.

Main outcomes of the FATF plenary

Increasing beneficial ownership transparency globally

FATF updated its risk-based guidance for Recommendation 25 on Beneficial Ownership and Transparency of Legal Arrangements. The new guidance complements the existing guidance on Recommendation 24 on legal persons. It aims to help stakeholders from private and public sectors involved in trusts and other legal arrangements assess and mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

Jurisdictions under increased monitoring

Added: Kenya and Namibia

Removed: Barbados, Gibraltar, Uganda, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Leveraging digital transformation for virtual assets

FATF agreed to publish an overview of the steps that FATF and FSRB member jurisdictions with the most important virtual asset activity have taken to regulate and supervise virtual asset service providers.

Payment transparency

Proposed amendments to Recommendation 16 aim to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper, more transparent, and more inclusive while ensuring AML/CTF compliance.

Protecting non-profit organisations from abuse for terrorism financing

Amendments to Recommendation 8 aim to protect non-profit organisations from potential terrorism financing abuse.

Methodological modifications for mutual evaluations

FATF finalised adjustments to its assessment methodology, aligning with recent standards updates, including safeguarding non-profit organisations from potential terrorism financing abuse.

Appointment of new president

The Plenary decided to appoint Ms Elisa de Anda Madrazo of Mexico as the next President of FATF, for a fixed two-year term.

Conclusion

Looking forward, the outcomes of the Fifth Plenary of FATF emphasise a collective dedication to addressing the evolving challenges of financial crime in an interconnected world. As illicit finance continues to evolve, FATF remains watchful, promoting collaboration among member jurisdictions, international organisations, and stakeholders to adapt and strengthen global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing frameworks. Furthermore, with a focus on transparency, innovation, and cooperation, FATF is prepared to navigate emerging threats, safeguard the integrity of the international financial system, and uphold principles of security in the years ahead.