National money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment

Understanding the money laundering and terrorist financing risks is an essential part of developing and implementing a national anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

A risk assessment allows countries to identify, assess and understand its money laundering and terrorist financing risks. Once these risks are properly understood, countries can apply AML/CFT measures that correspond to the level of risk, in other words: the risk-based approach (RBA).  The risk-based approach, which is central to the FATF Recommendations, enables countries to prioritise their resources and allocate them efficiently. 

The FATF has developed guidance which will assist countries in the conduct of risk assessment at the country or national level.  The principles described in this guidance are also relevant to more focussed risk assessments, for example of a particular financial sector.    

The guidance is structured as follows: 

Section 1. Purpose, scope and status of the guidance

Section 2. General principles that should be taken into account when conducting ML/TF risk assessments 

Section 3. Planning and organisation of a national-level money laundering / terrorist financing risk assessment

Section 4. The three main stages involved in the risk assessment process

Section 5. Outcome of the risk assessment

Annexes to this document contain additional information relating to money laundering / terrorist financing risk assessments.  In addition to the annexes contained in the report itself, the IMF and the World Bank provided the following.