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FATF Plenary update: key outcomes and strategic initiatives

FATF Plenary Update
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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) convened its February plenary from 21 to 23 February 2024, addressing crucial issues concerning money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing. Delegates from over 200 jurisdictions and international organisations participated in three days of deliberations at the FATF headquarters in Paris. Here are the notable outcomes and strategic initiatives:

Outcomes:

Jurisdictional updates:
  • Removal from increased monitoring: Barbados, Gibraltar, Uganda, and the UAE have been removed from increased monitoring following successful efforts to address strategic AML/CFT deficiencies identified during mutual evaluations. Firms are advised to update their internal jurisdiction lists accordingly.
  • Increased monitoring additions: Kenya and Namibia have been added to the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring, signifying their commitment to swiftly resolve identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes.
Guidance enhancements:
  • Beneficial ownership transparency: A risk-based guidance for the implementation of Recommendation 25 on beneficial ownership and transparency of legal arrangements has been developed. This guidance aims to enhance global transparency and prevent criminals and terrorists from hiding behind complex corporate structures.
  • Virtual Assets Supervision: FATF will publish an overview of steps taken to regulate Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to address gaps in implementing Recommendation 15, which aims to regulate and supervise VASPs for AML/CFT purposes.
Payment transparency:
  • Proposed updates to Recommendation 16: FATF will release proposed updates to Recommendation 16 on Payment Transparency for public consultation. These revisions are designed to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper, and more transparent while ensuring AML/CFT compliance.
Other decisions:
  • Appointment of new FATF President: The Plenary agreed on the appointment of a new President of the FATF for the term 2024-2026.
  • Modifications to assessment methodology: Modifications to the assessment methodology have been finalised to protect non-profit organisations from potential abuse for terrorist financing.
  • Strategic priorities for 2024-2026: Delegates discussed strategic priorities to prevent abuse of the international financial system by criminals, corrupt entities, and terrorists, aiming for more sustainable and inclusive economic development. These priorities will be presented at the upcoming FATF Ministerial meeting in April.

The FATF continues its commitment to strengthening the global AML/CFT framework and adapting to emerging challenges in financial regulation and technology. These initiatives underscore the organisation’s efforts to foster transparency, combat illicit financial activities, and safeguard the integrity of the international financial system.

For more information:

  • High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action – February 2024, click here.
  • Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring – 23 February 2024, click here.

How Neopay can help

The outcomes of the FATF’s February plenary highlight the pressing need for robust AML/CFT measures in today’s financial landscape. As regulatory environments continue to evolve, Neopay is positioned to provide tailored solutions to businesses. With our expertise and guidance, we assist businesses in safeguarding their operations against financial crime risks.

Our comprehensive suite of services, including risk assessments, compliance training, and ongoing support, empowers businesses to effectively manage regulatory complexities while upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency.

Immediate action is required by firms to review and update their country risk assessments, incorporating changes to the overall customer risk assessment. This proactive approach ensures alignment with the latest regulatory developments and enhances the effectiveness of AML/CFT measures.

Neopay supports businesses in this critical endeavour, offering customised solutions and expert guidance every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business navigate these regulatory requirements and ensure compliance in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

Contact our team here.

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