The third round of evaluations, which started in 2004, has now concluded. It has resulted in FATF member countries significantly strengthening their frameworks for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, in particular in the following key areas:
- Criminalisation of money laundering and terrorist financing in a comprehensive manner;
- The implementation of more robust customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting requirements;
- Enhancing the powers and capabilities of financial supervisory authorities and financial intelligence units to undertake their respective duties; and
- Implementing the relevant international conventions and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and increasing the level of international cooperation to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Through the efforts of the eight FATF-style regional bodies as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, similar measures are also being implemented across the 193 members of the FATF Global Network, as part of their ongoing commitments and efforts to implement the FATF standards.
A few FATF members have ongoing deficiencies in key aspects of their systems which were identified in their last assessment reports. These members have committed to rectifying their deficiencies swiftly, and will be subject to a targeted follow-up process and be required to report back to the FATF on a regular basis until these deficiencies are resolved.
The FATF has started its fourth round of mutual evaluations with the assessments of Australia, Belgium, Norway and Spain. The reports on Norway and Spain will be finalised and published in October 2014. The reports on Belgium and Australia will follow in February 2015.1
In the fourth round, all FATF member countries will be examined to determine their compliance with the new FATF Standards. The new assessment process builds on the previous assessments by strengthening the examination of how effectively the country is combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. In addition, the FATF and other assessment bodies have adopted a universal approach to conducting assessments and ensuring high quality and consistent reports.
Overall, the focus on practical implementation and enforcement will ensure that all FATF members and other countries have systems that deliver results and lead to a stronger and safer global financial system.
1. Since publishing this statement, the FATF has revised its Procedures for the FATF Fourth Round of AML/CFT Mutual Evaluations, in particular the timelines for publication and other procedures following the Plenary discussion.