Remarks at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, 26 February

Publication details




FATF General

Intervention by Dr Marcus Pleyer
FATF President

As delivered.


Chair, thank you!

Excellencies, Ministers, Governors, colleagues! 

Congratulations on a successful start of the Italian G20 Presidency! The FATF appreciates the Presidency’s focus on people, planet and prosperity. For the G20’s objective – a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery – the FATF stands ready to help protecting our economies from illicit funds.

We will strongly contribute to the Italian Presidency’s priority on financial inclusion. Financial exclusion not only has a real human impact. It also poses serious risks to the integrity and sustainability of our financial system, when financial transactions are pushed underground. Our risk-based approach ensures that people are not unfairly excluded, while maintaining effective anti-money laundering measures. The FATF looks forward to working on this issue with the Italian G20 Presidency and the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

The FATF commends the Italian Presidency’s focus on digitalisation in financial services. This has been and will remain at the forefront of the FATF’s work:

  • Firstly, the FATF’s guidance on digital ID remains an important resource for ensuring access to essential and secure financial services – especially during the pandemic.
  • Secondly, after having adopted standards on virtual assets and stablecoins as the first international standard setter, we are now launching a second review of the global implementation of these standards. This needs to be a priority for all countries. I am looking forward to updating the G20 during the year.
  • Thirdly, the FATF is analysing the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation for anti-money laundering. We would be pleased to share insights from our work on such critical issues as data protection, privacy and responsible innovation.

We also strongly contribute to the G20’s Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-Border Payments. We will share our results with our project partners in the coming months.

Two final points:

  • The FATF stands ready to support the G20 through work on environmental and climate crime, such as illegal deforestation and illegal wildlife trade. If we want to save our planet, we need to stop the illicit funds flowing from such crimes, estimated at up to 260 billion US Dollars per year.
  • Also, ensuring transparency of beneficial ownership is critical for everything from a fair tax system to stopping money laundering. The FATF is the global standard setter on this issue. We are now reviewing the standard to consider how it can be strengthened further.

Let me conclude by calling for the G20 to keep sight of the vital need to step up the fight against illicit financial flows by fully and effectively implementing FATF standards. This is more than ever important in the pandemic when we see Covid-19 connected financial crimes on the rise.

Thank you.