First FATF Report on the extent and nature of the money laundering process and FATF Recommendations to combat money laundering

Publication details




In the late 1980s the problem of illegal narcotics trafficking had become a problem of alarming proportions and world-wide concern.

The Heads of State or Government of seven major industrial nations and the President of the Commission of the European Communities met in July 1989 to take a number of steps.  Along with measures to strengthen international co-operation on eradicating supply and measures to curb the demand for drugs, these included the establishment of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  

In addition to the G7 countries, eight other countries were also invited to join the FATF, in order to enlarge its expertise and also to reflect the views of other countries particularly concerned by or having particular experience in the fight against money laundering, at national and international level.

From July 1989, France held the Presidency of the FATF.

To facilitate the work of the FATF, three Working Groups were created which focused respectively on money laundering statistics and methods; legal questions; and on administrative and financial cooperation.

This report comprises:

  • a thorough analysis of the money laundering process, its extent and methods,
  • a presentation of the international instruments and national programs already in place to combat money laundering
  • a set of action recommendations on how to improve the national legal systems, enhance the role of the financial system, and strengthen international cooperation against money laundering:  40 FATF Recommendations

Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering - Annual Report 1990, pdf