The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Published updated guidance for a risk-based approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers on 28 Oct 2021. This updated guidance forms part of the FATF’s ongoing monitoring of the virtual assets and VASP sector.
- Published a report on the digital transformation of AML/CTF for Operational Agencies. The FATF and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units completed a project to explore how financial intelligence units can leverage technology to strengthen their operations.
- Launched a project to study and mitigate the unintended consequences resulting from the incorrect implementation of the FATF Standards. At its October 2021 meeting, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary agreed to publish a High-Level Synopsis of this Stocktake.
- Published survey results on Cross Border Payments and implementation of the FATF Standards on 22 Oct 2021. Enhancing cross-border payments is a key priority of FATF and of the G20.
- Issued a call-to-action for High-Risk Jurisdictions on 21 Oct 2021. High-risk jurisdictions have significant strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of proliferation. For all countries identified as high-risk, the FATF calls on all members and urges all jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence, and in the most serious cases, countries are called upon to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from the ongoing money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing risks emanating from the country.
- Updated its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring on 21 Oct 2021. Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. This list is often externally referred to as the “grey list”.
- Issued a public statement on the Pandora Papers on 21 Oct 2021. The Financial Action Task Force has noted the revelations in news reports, dubbed the Pandora papers The FATF will continue to work to improve corporate and financial transparency to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
- Issued a public statement on the situation in Afghanistan on 21 Oct 2021. In light of recent events in Afghanistan, the FATF, as the global standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, expresses its concern about the current and evolving money laundering and terrorist financing risk environment in the country.
- Issued a public statement on the financing of ISIL, Al Qaeda and Affiliates on 21 Oct 2021. The FATF continues its strategic focus on countering terrorist financing and continues to gather and share information on the financing of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates.
- Published a report on South Africa's measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing on 07 Oct 2021. South Africa's measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing are delivering results.
- Published a report on China's progress in strengthening measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing on 06 Oct 2021. This follow-up report analyses China's progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2019 Mutual Evaluation.
- Published a report on Finland's progress in strengthening measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing on 05 Oct 2021. This follow-up report analyses Finland's progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2019 Mutual Evaluation.
- Published a report on Canada's progress in strengthening measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing on 01 Oct 2021. This follow-up report analyses Canada's progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2016 Mutual Evaluation.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
- Issued a statement on de-banking on 29 Oct 2021. The issue of de-banking is a complex global problem. Over the past decade, the range of businesses impacted by a loss or limitation of access to banking services has expanded. Money transfer (remitters), digital currency exchanges, not-for-profit organisations (NPO) and financial technology (FinTech) businesses are disproportionally facing bank account closures. Banking services in the Pacific region previously enabled through Australian banks are also at risk.
No major updates this month.
No major updates this month.
Financial Conduct Authority (FMA)
- Published the Financial Crime: analysis of firms’ 2017-2020 REP-CRIM data report on 07 Oct 2021. The publication provides an analysis of the REP-CRIM submissions for the 3 reporting periods between 2017-2020. The analysis aims to provide Money Laundering Reporting Officers and industry practitioners insights on trends and developments, which should help inform the arrangements and risks of their respective firms.
- Issued a press release on 22 Oct 2021 that it had fined Credit Suisse over £147 million for serious financial crime due diligence failings related to loans worth over US$1.3 billion, which the bank arranged for the Republic of Mozambique. These loans, and a bond exchange, were tainted by corruption. Credit Suisse has also agreed with the FCA to forgive US$200 million of debt owed by the Republic of Mozambique as a result of these tainted loans.
- Issued a press release on 07 Oct 2021 that NatWest Plc pleads guilty in criminal proceedings. National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) entered guilty pleas at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to criminal charges brought by the FCA under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (MLR 2007).
Gambling Commission (GC)
- Announced enforcement action against a land-based casino on 13 Oct 2021. A casino will pay £450,000 after a Gambling Commission investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures at the business.
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
- Published a new anti-money laundering report on 13 Oct 2021. Their first professional supervisor report, a recent requirement placed on all supervisors by both the Money Laundering Regulations and guidance by the Office for Professional Body Anti-money laundering Supervision (OPBAS) and HM Treasury. It sets out work over the last 12 months to help firms make sure their processes are effective and followed properly. That includes action taken against those firms that failed to take their obligations seriously.
No major updates this month.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
- Announced on 29 Oct 2021 the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area.
- Announced on 19 Oct 2021 it is granting limited exceptive relief under the authority set forth in 31 U.S.C. § 5318(a)(7) and 31 CFR § 1010.970(a) to casinos from certain customer identity verification requirements in the context of online gaming. Specifically, under the terms of this relief, a casino may utilize suitable non-documentary methods to verify the identity of online customers. The suitability or non-suitability of any particular method should be evaluated based on risk.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)
- Published FAQs in relation to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism on 22 Oct 2021. Developed by the Hong Kong Association of Banks.
Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)
- Published circulars to licensed corporations and associated entities - Anti-Money Laundering / Counter-Financing of Terrorism on 29 Oct 2021 and 26 Oct 2021 on the United Nations Sanctions for the Central African Republic and South Sudan, and Libya.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Published a consultation paper on the FI-FI information sharing platform for AML/CFT on 01 Oct 2021. This consultation paper seeks views on the introduction of a regulatory framework and secure digital platform for financial institutions to share risk information with each other to prevent money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing.
- Published FAQs on the Exemption Frameworks for Cross-Border Business Arrangements of Capital Markets Intermediaries involving Foreign-Related Corporations and Foreign Offices on 20 Oct 2021. Clarifications on the requirements under the Exemption Frameworks for cross-border business arrangements of capital markets intermediaries involving Foreign-Related Corporations and Foreign Offices.
- Published notices FAA-N25, FAA-N24, SFA 04-N20, SFA 04-N19 on 08 Oct 2021 in relation to cross-border arrangements on prevention of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. Notices were issued under the Financial Advisers Regulations and Securities and Futures Regulations.
Financial Intelligence Center (FIC)
- Issued a media release on 07 Oct 2021 in response to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) releasing its Mutual Evaluation Report following its assessment of South Africa’s system for anti-money laundering, counter financing of terrorism and counter financing of proliferation (AML/CFT/CPF).
No major updates this month.