The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for setting global standards to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes. The FATF Plenary is held three times per year and brings together representatives from FATF member jurisdictions, as well as from observer countries and organisations. In this article you can learn the outcomes of FATF plenary that took place on 21st – 23rd of June 2023. 

Updates on FATF Standards for Virtual Assets (VASPs) 

One of the critical outcomes of the plenary was the adoption of new recommendations on virtual assets. Virtual assets, like cryptocurrencies, have become increasingly popular tools for criminals to move illicit funds across borders. The new recommendations aim to combat this by providing clear standards for regulating and supervising virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Under the new guidelines, VASPs must conduct customer due diligence, report suspicious transactions and maintain records of their activities. 

 Mutual Evaluation of Luxembourg 

The mutual evaluation of Luxembourg, a regional and international financial hub, demonstrated a high level of technical compliance with FATF’s recommendations. Luxembourg has a robust anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing regime, which yielded positive results, reflecting their strong understanding of money laundering and terrorism financing risks. However, areas for improvement include detecting and investigating complex money laundering cases, implementing risk-based supervision in the non-financial sector, improving knowledge of terrorism financing and enforcing appropriate sanctions for non-compliance within financial and non-financial sectors. 

 Other topics discussed at the plenary included the implementation of the FATF’s mutual evaluation process, ongoing efforts to combat money laundering/terrorism financing, and adopting an internal tool to tackle corruption. The FATF is also exploring potential revisions to Recommendation 8 for safeguarding non-profit organisations from terrorism financing abuse while creating an environment that will enable legitimate activities. During the recent plenary meeting, Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam were added to the Grey List, whereas there were no modifications to the Blacklist. 

FATF Vice Presidency 

FATF welcomed Canadian Jeremy Weil, who will take charge as president on July 1st, 2023.