The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Published a report on Qatar's measures to combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) on 31 May 2023. The report shows that Qatar has made substantive improvements in combatting ML/TF, and its technical compliance with FATF requirements is very strong. However, Qatar needs to make some major improvements in its criminal justice response to terrorist financing.
- Published a report on Fiji's progress in strengthening measures to tackle ML/TF on 30 May 2023. This report identifies the progress Fiji has made in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2016 Mutual Evaluation.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Released a public consultation as part of an update of the IMF's Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Strategy on 10 May 2023. The IMF is seeking input on the Fund’s engagement and cooperation with external organisations on AML/CFT and broader financial integrity issues. Feedback is due by 31 May 2023.
- Published a book titled "Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Good Practices to Enhance Effectiveness" on 12 May 2023. This book is intended to assist policymakers and practitioners in identifying key challenges and good practices for strengthening the effectiveness of counter-terrorism financing frameworks. The book presents contributions by experts from the IMF, United Nations, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, INTERPOL, and Europol.
Asia / Pacific Group (APG)
- Announced that a face-to-face visit for Brunei Darussalam's APG Mutual Evaluation was conducted from 3 to 5 May 2023 in Bandar Seri Begawan. This followed the onsite visit conducted in November 2022.
- Announced new financial sanctions and an export ban on all machinery and related parts to Russia on 19 May 2023. These additional targeted measures aim to slow Russia’s war machine. Australia’s action is part of a push by international partners at the May G7 Leaders’ Summit in Japan.
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC)
- Issued an updated schedule for the release of enhanced reporting forms on 17 May 2023. The release date for several forms, including the suspicious transaction report form and the large cash transaction report, has been moved to late 2023 or early 2024.
- Released a video to assist in verifying the identity of a client using the affiliate or member method on 11 May 2023. The affiliate or member method of verification is one of the 5 prescribed methods by the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the Act).
- Published a special bulletin on Russia-linked money laundering on 18 May 2023. It lists characteristics of completed or attempted financial transactions related to the laundering of the proceeds of crime. It updates and replaces the previous bulletin published in March 2022.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Announced continued action against unregistered crypto ATMs across the UK on 5 May 2023. The FCA has used its powers to inspect sites in Exeter, Nottingham and Sheffield suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs.
- Released new sanctions targeting Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain, advanced military technology, and remaining revenue sources on 19 May 2023.
- Released guidance on trust services sanctions on 30 May 2023. The trust services sanctions came into effect on 16 December 2022. This measure limits the ability of persons connected with Russia from accessing access the UK’s trust services. Since March 2023, over 1,820 persons have been designated for the purposes of trust services sanctions.
- Announced the adoption of new rules on markets in crypto-assets on 16 May 2023. The new rules cover issuers of utility tokens, asset-referenced tokens and so-called ‘stablecoins’. It also covers service providers such as trading venues and the wallets where crypto-assets are held. It introduces a harmonised regulatory framework in the European Union.
European Banking Authority (EBA)
- Released a public consultation on amendments to its guidelines on ML/TF risk factors on 31 May 2023. The proposed changes extend the scope of existing guidelines to crypto-asset service providers. The consultation ends on 31 August 2023.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
- Released an alert urging for continued vigilance for potential Russian export control evasion on 19 May 2023. The alert details evasion typologies and identifies additional transactional and behavioural red flags to assist in identifying suspicious transactions relating to possible export control evasion.
Department of the Treasury (OFAC)
- Announced a new executive order which expands existing sanctions on Sudan following the military’s seizure of power in October 2021 and the outbreak of inter-service fighting in April 2023. The sanctions are focused on supporting a transition to democracy and a civilian transitional government in Sudan.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)
- Published a report which promotes the adoption of network analytics to strengthen the response of banks’ AML systems on 9 May 2023. This report highlights the potential of combining intelligence-led analytical tools with rules-based monitoring systems to help banks enhance anti-deception efforts in the prevention, detection and disruption of financial crime.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Companies Registry, Estate Agents Authority
- Incorporated new requirements for virtual asset service providers and updated definitions of a foreign PEP and beneficial owner on 25 May 2023. The revisions are based on the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill 2022, which was passed in December 2022 and is effective as of 1 June 2023. Updates were incorporated in the HKMA's Guideline on AML/CFT, HKMA's Guideline on AML/CFT (for Stored Value Facility Licensees), SFC's Circular on AML/CFT, Companies Registry's AML/CFT Guideline, and Estate Agents Authority's Guideline on AML/CFT.
Money Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Issued guidance focused on strengthening CFT controls in financial institutions on 26 May 2023. The guidance is based on an industry-wide survey of CFT-related controls and provides MAS’ key observations. It lists the supervisory expectations that FIs should review against their own controls.
Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC)
- Published a compilation of case studies and indicators on existing, identified, and emerging methods criminals use to launder money through the financial system on 11 May 2023. The case studies provide insight into financial crimes uncovered between 2017 and 2022.
No major updates this month.