The global AML/CTF standard-setter, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
- Updated the FATF Recommendations - added addition of Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15 which sets out the application of the FATF Standards to virtual asset activities and service providers.
- Published the terrorist financing risk assessment guidance which aims to assist countries in assessing terrorist financing risk, by providing good approaches, relevant information sources and practical examples based on country experience.
- Published its procedures for the FATF fourth round of AML/CFT mutual evaluations and its consolidated processes and procedures for mutual evaluations and follow-up.
- Updated its consolidated assessment ratings which provides an up-to-date overview of the ratings that assessed countries obtained for effectiveness and technical compliance.
No major updates this month.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC):
- Attended the 2019 Egmont Group Plenary in The Hague with global financial intelligence experts to fight terrorist and crime financing.
- An AUSTRAC initiative, Fintel Alliance, recently supported law enforcement in tracking down and arresting a criminal syndicate that preys on Australia’s most vulnerable.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA):
- Emphasised that high value dealers can be targeted by criminals to turn cash into assets. To make it harder for criminals to use cash anonymously to buy or sell high value goods, the AML/CFT Act covers high value dealers from 1 August 2019. This applies to high value dealers who buy or sell goods using cash transactions at or over $10,000.
- The Ministry of Justice is currently considering a class exemption for situations where a corporate trustee company is a subsidiary of a law firm, accounting practice or TCSP that is a reporting entity under the AML/CFT Act in New Zealand. While this exemption application is being assessed, the DIA has implemented an interim solution for corporate trustee companies specific to their 2019 annual report obligations - a corporate trustee company, whose AML/CFT obligations are being fulfilled by a parent law firm, accounting practice or TCSP that is a reporting entity in New Zealand is not required to submit an annual report by 31 August 2019.
- Issued a formal warning to Customhouse Safe Deposits Limited (CSDL), NZ’s largest supplier of safe deposit boxes, under the AML/CFT Act for failing to meet AML/CFT Act requirements, keep records and establish, implement or maintain an AML/CFT programme.
- Issued a formal warning to a Wellington-based money remitter, Run Da International Limited (Run Da) for non-compliance under the AML/CFT Act. This is the seventh formal warning to be published as a summary. Since the AML/CFT Act came into force on 30 June 2013, the Department has issued 28 formal warnings, either for failure to meet particular risk assessment or AML/CFT programme obligations or for failing to submit an annual AML/CFT report.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA)
- Published minor updates to AML/CFT customer due diligence fact sheet for sole traders and partnerships, trusts, companies, co-operatives, and clubs and societies.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA):
- Published FAQs in relation to AML and CFT to assist Authorised Institutions (AIs) regulated by the HKMA in understanding relevant AML/CFT requirements. It advises that an AI should conduct its institutional ML/TF risk assessment every two years and when material trigger events occur. Non-exhaustive examples of such trigger events may include when:
- there is a significant breach of the AI’s AML/CFT Systems detected; or
- one of the following has occurred and the AI has assessed that it will materially impact upon its assessment of the institutional ML/TF risks to which it is exposed:
- the AI acquires a new customer segment or delivery channel;
- the AI launches new products or services; or
- there is a significant change of operational processes (eg use of new technology).
- Published a report which updates the ML/TF risk assessment for the stored value facility (SVF) sector. The latest assessment confirms that the SVF sector continues to carry a medium level of ML/TF risk.
The Government of Canada:
- Final amending regulations gazetted on July 10 amending the regulations made under the PC(ML)TFA is a significant change (effective June 1, 2020).
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
- Published an operational brief which provides information and guidance about the factors that expose individuals and entities (both retailers and wholesalers/suppliers) that are dealers in precious metals and stones to ML/TF risks. The brief also includes indicators to help such dealers determine when they should report a suspicious transaction to FINTRAC.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):
- Reported that Richard Baldwin conviction for money laundering revealed after reporting restrictions lifted. This case demonstrates FCA’s determination to pursue not only those who commit insider dealing but those who are prepared to launder the ill-gotten gains from abusing the market. It also sends a clear message that the FCA is determined to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime.
No major updates this month.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN):
- Issued a joint statement to emphasise their risk-focused approach to examinations of banks’ Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance programs. This statement is intended to improve transparency into the risk-focused approach used for planning and performing BSA/AML examinations and does not establish new requirements.
- Published a statement by FinCEN Director Kenneth A. Blanco in support of ATF actions by Argentina and its Financial Intelligence Unit.
- Published the updated advisory to alert financial institutions to predominant trends in reported business email compromise (BEC) fraud, including key sectors, entities, and vulnerable business processes targeted in many BEC schemes.
The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC):
- Published outcomes of the June 2019 meeting of the FATF including combating the financing of terrorism, changes to the FATF standards on the regulation of crypto assets, and approval of three risk-based approach guidance papers etc.