By Bjørn S. Aamo, incoming President.
The coming year will present significant challenges for our work as members and partners of the FATF. Many countries and financial institutions have economic difficulties. Terrorist threats are present in several parts of the world. Fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism are important tasks in promoting financial integrity and building trust between countries and market participants. Trust and confidence are necessary to restore growth and prosperity.
The achievements of the past year, under the Presidency of Italy, have laid a solid foundation for the work we have to undertake. The new Mandate, actively supported by ministers from over 30 countries, improves the basis for building an even stronger global network of the FSRBs and the FATF in fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The mandate clearly sets out the roles of members and associate members. It describes our close cooperation with the International Financial Institutions, The IMF and World Bank, as well as with the United Nations. The revised Recommendations give more guidance to countries on what they shall achieve, and form the basis for the fourth round of mutual evaluations.
Implementing the revised Recommendations
The first priority of the coming year will be to promote and facilitate an effective implementation of the revised Recommendations. Countries would need to adopt legislation and regulation that are technical compliant, and introduce measures that improve the effectiveness of our national systems. The risk based approach will help us use our resources in a better way. The revised recommendations improve tools and procedures for identifying real owners behind legal entities.
It is important that tax crimes now are included among the predicate offences for anti-money laundering measures. This will provide a better foundation for international cooperation against tax crimes and tax evasion. More efficient tax collection can be part of international efforts to strengthen public finances. I very much welcome the ideas now being developed inside the FATF to further improve the effectiveness of national anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism systems.
Preparing the Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations
We have to prepare for the fourth round of mutual evaluations, by completing the revision of the Methodology. What is not broken, should not be fixed. I thus hope that we to a large extend may use the Methodology as prepared for the third round of evaluation, adjusted for the revised Recommendations.
Liaising with private sector and civil society
Financial institutions and other private businesses are in the frontline in detecting money laundering and the financing of terrorism. We, as FATF, can only be successful if they are successful. Making them well informed and conscious of the risks, are key elements to be effective in fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism. We must continue to develop the close cooperation with the private sector, and have an open dialogue with representatives of civil society. We should ensure that the media and the public in general have easy access to information about the work of the FATF.
Strengthening global cooperation
FATF has come a long way since its foundation 23 years ago. We are a growing family where close cooperation between the FSRBs and the FATF is the foundation for an effective global network for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation. I was very encouraged by the meetings of the Global Network Coordination Group and of the FSRB-presidents during the FATF meetings in Rome, which both exchanged experiences from the practical work of the regional organizations and discussed further cooperation between FSBRs and the FATF.
It shows the strength of our global cooperation when the FSRBs themselves already have translated the revised Recommendations into Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.
I welcome you all to close cooperation – and a lot of work in the year to come!